There’s plenty more nights of big boxing action ahead of us through August to December 2016, so let’s get stuck in and see what’s in store. Note that this list only contains official ‘inked in’ fights.
Fury vs Klitschko
Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KO) | Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO) | Heavyweight | Fury’s RING, WBA, WBO titles defense | Manchester, England
Should this dustup be on the list given how unremarkable and sleepy the pairs’ first meeting was last November. Well, given several major Heavyweight world titles are on the line, plus the fighters are considered to be elites of the division, it kinda’ has to. And hey, to be fair, there’s a fairly good chance we might actually see a fight break out in this one since Klitschko’s legacy will be in serious doubt if the ‘fat man’ manages to tames him once again.
We could speculate about what might play out differently in this sequel all day long, but I’m sure there’s better things for us all to be doing. Could be a dud, could be classic. So I’ll end by saying that while Fury vs Klitschko II isn’t exactly a highly anticipated clash, it’s absolutely going to be an event because it involves boxing’s loudest, brashest motormouth, Tyson Fury. Nough’ said.
Pacquiao vs Vargas: HBO PPV
Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KO) | Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KO) | Welterweight | Vargas’ WBO title defense | Las Vegas, Nevada
For a moment, we all thought we were going to see Manny Pacquiao take on the fellow Top Rank-promoted Terence Crawford. But no. Didn’t happen. Instead, WBO champ Jessie Vargas will be filling Crawford’s place in Pacquiao’s second, er…final hurrah (?).
Anyway, Pacquiao will be returning to ring. Vargas is no slouch and shouldn’t be overlooked here. While his chances of outboxing a fast, volume-punching fighter like Pacquiao are slim, let’s remember that he does possess that sneaky overhand right that can turn out lights in an instant. We saw it against Timothy Bradley, and most recently against the esteemed startup Sadam Ali, and if it says hello to Pacquiao’s chin, it could be game over for the future Hall of Famer.
While it’s doubtful Pacquiao will take too many chances in this one, we can’t ignore the fact that he’s got plenty of mileage on the clock already which includes many wars. Dude’s 37, we’ve seen fighters turn old overnight before, so there’s questions. Of course, that said, you could wave in my face the fact that Pacquiao just soundly beat a prime Timothy Bradley. Whatever.
Pacquiao vs Vargas isn’t a bad matchup by any stretch, and Vargas’ explosive performance against Ali puts some extra shine on this one. It should be fan-friendly.
Ward vs Kovalev: HBO PPV
Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KO) | Sergey Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KO) | Light Heavyweight | Kovalev’s WBA, IBF, WBO Light Heavyweight titles defense | Las Vegas, Nevada
This feels like the biggest boxing showdown on this list. Or does it? While it’s still true that Andre Ward is Sergey Kovalev’s biggest threat (Adonis Stevenson is a close second), it feels like this fight lost some measurable lustre over the weekend. If you were unlucky enough, or simply bored enough, to stay up and watch Ward carry gap-filler-foe Alexander Brand, then you know what I’m talking about.
The good news is that we can probably afford to forget about that fight. Ward, who faced zero challenges for twelve rounds, had no interest in getting out of first gear, but there’s a very good chance Kovalev will force him to do a whole lot more when they finally meet. Kovalev is a bonafide puncher who carries underrated boxing skills in his utility belt, so hopefully we’re going to see some major fireworks in this one. Or, at the very least, the best brought out in Ward.
Throw in the fact there’s all but the WBC’s Light Heavyweight title (currently with Stevenson) on the line here, plus both guys are undefeated, then you’ve got a pretty stellar clash on paper. Man, I really hope I don’t regret saying that.
Kovalev is coming in off a sound decision victory over Isaac Chilemba in July, and Ward a shutout (sparring session?) win over the aforementioned Brand.
Best of the Rest Boxing: October – November
Jermall Charlo vs Julian Williams | Junior Middleweight | Charlo’s IBF title defense | TBA location
Cecilia Braekhus vs Anne Sophie Mathis | Welterweight | Braekhus’ IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO titles defense | Oslo, Norway
Juergen Braehmer vs Nathan Cleverly | Light heavyweight | Neubrandenburg, Germany
Tony Bellew vs BJ Flores | Cruiserweight | Bellew’s WBC title defense | Liverpool, England | Sky Sports 1
What do you think is the biggest event inked in through October to December, readers? Chime in with your thoughts below in the comments. For an extensive list of all the latest upcoming fights, head on over to our Latest Schedule.