Will boxing’s megafight trend continue in 2024? Six blockbusters and the odds they happen


Between Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia and Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr., boxing has produced two genuinely major fights in 2023.

Another big-business bout arrives next month when boxing’s top star, Canelo Alvarez, defends his undisputed super middleweight championship vs. undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo.

Mix in some other highly anticipated matchups — David Benavidez-Caleb Plant, Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez-Josh Taylor — and it’s a banner year for boxing.

The 2023 campaign could be a turning point for a sport that often deprives its ardent followers of the most desirable matchups. To keep the momentum going, boxing’s key decision-makers must follow up with even more high-stakes matchups in 2024.

What might those look like? We look at six super fights ripe to be made next year — and the chances they materialize.

Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk

Now that “Tank” Davis and “Bud” Crawford impressively dispensed with Garcia and Spence, the biggest fight that can be made in boxing is undoubtedly the one that would crown an undisputed heavyweight champion.

Fury and Usyk aren’t simply the two best heavyweights in the world; they’re recognized as two of the six best boxers in the world regardless of weight by ESPN. When was the last time two heavyweights were on the pound-for-pound list?

It would be a crying shame, even by boxing standards, if Fury and Usyk never shared a ring. The pair were close to a deal in April before negotiations collapsed. Now, Usyk will fulfill his WBA mandatory obligation with an Aug. 26 bout against Daniel Dubois while Fury heads toward a money-making event with MMA knockout artist Francis Ngannou on Oct. 28.

The stage is set for Fury and Usyk to clash next year in a generational heavyweight title tilt, but the sides will surely need to endure another painful negotiation.

Probability it happens in 2024: 70%

Teofimo Lopez vs. Devin Haney

Taylor was a popular pick to hand Lopez his second loss, but Lopez delivered a spellbinding performance in June to remind the world just how special he is when he’s on his game.

Now the lineal champion at 140 pounds — Taylor was an undisputed champion before he relinquished three titles — Lopez again will be a hot commodity for marquee fights. And there’s no bigger matchup out there than a clash with Haney — provided Haney defeats Regis Prograis in his junior welterweight debut on Oct. 28.

Haney, the undisputed lightweight champion, will move up five pounds for the title bout against Prograis. Coming off a razor-thin win over Lomachenko in May, Haney will be favored to grab Prograis’ WBC title, but it’s far from a foregone conclusion.

However, if Haney comes through, a fight with Lopez would essentially pit the top two fighters in two weight classes. There’s history, too. Lopez and Haney know each other from their amateur days, and the prefight hype from each side would make this a can’t-miss showdown.

Probability it happens in 2024: 80%

Canelo Alvarez vs. David Benavidez

Alvarez will fight the smaller Charlo on Sept. 30 in the first of a three-fight deal with PBC, and afterward could take on twin brother Jermall.

But the biggest bout at super middleweight would pit Canelo against Benavidez, a ferocious volume puncher who is ESPN’s top 168-pounder after Alvarez. With his fan-friendly style, size and growing star, the undefeated Benavidez represents at once the toughest challenge for Alvarez and perhaps his biggest money-making matchup.

Benavidez will first have to get past what shapes up as his most difficult fight yet against former two-division champion Demetrius Andrade, another boxer who has yearned for a meeting with Alvarez. Benavidez-Andrade is being finalized for the fall.

Canelo refers to himself as the face of boxing with good reason and wants to be treated as such. Benavidez’s callout of Alvarez might not have been the best approach to land the fight, but if Canelo takes care of business against Charlo as expected, calls for the super showdown will mount.

Probability it happens in 2024: 50%

Terence Crawford vs. Jermell Charlo

Crawford hadn’t yet finished scoring the victory over Spence, but already he was planting seeds for a fight next year.

With Spence on the canvas in Round 7 of the July 29 bout, Crawford peered out the ropes and plainly told Charlo, “You’re next.” Crawford had shown immense respect toward Spence before their fight, but the pound-for-pound king has been open about his distaste for Charlo and his antics.

The career-defining victory over Spence lifted Crawford to the undisputed welterweight championship, and he’s also the former undisputed champ at 140 pounds. A battle with Charlo for the undisputed junior middleweight championship would only enhance Crawford’s all-time credentials. But the matchup faces several obstacles.

Win or lose against Canelo, will Charlo return to 154 pounds after moving up two weight classes? Or will he settle at 160? Even if he does return to junior middleweight, Charlo could revisit a bout with Tim Tszyu that was postponed earlier this year. Tszyu will be elevated to WBO champion after Canelo and Charlo step in the ring, so the American could decide to fight the Aussie to try to regain his belt.

Crawford, meanwhile, could meet Spence in December if the Texan exercises the rematch clause.

Probability it happens in 2024: 35%

Gervonta Davis vs. Shakur Stevenson

After Canelo, Davis is the biggest financial driver in North American boxing, and he needs a marquee fight for 2024.

“Tank” produced the biggest revenue-generating fight of the year in April when he stopped Garcia in Round 7, and for an encore, Stevenson would fit the bill of a superfight.

Davis has proven himself to be a crafty boxer-puncher who knows how to set up his power shots, while Stevenson is perhaps the best defensive fighter in the game. Both fighters know how to sell a fight, too.

With Davis hailing from Baltimore and Stevenson from Newark, New Jersey, this is a perfect fight for New York’s Madison Square Garden, but it will be challenging to make. Davis fights under the PBC banner, while Stevenson is promoted by Top Rank.

Probability it happens in 2024: 15%

Artur Beterbiev vs. Dmitry Bivol

This matchup makes far too much sense to fall by the wayside, and it’s frankly surprising it has yet to materialize.

Beterbiev and Bivol were in talks for an undisputed light heavyweight championship bout last year in Russia before Bivol won the Canelo sweepstakes. The smooth boxing Bivol cashed in with a rout of Alvarez in May 2022, then proceeded to give Zurdo Ramirez a boxing lesson in November.

Beterbiev, meanwhile, is boxing’s only champion with a 100% knockout ratio. The bruising puncher pushed past Anthony Yarde earlier this year in a thriller. Beterbiev will face another Englishman in January when he takes on Callum Smith in a fight set for Saturday before Beterbiev withdrew with an injury.

Both Russians are on ESPN’s pound-for-pound list, and there doesn’t appear to be any major impediment to the fight. This one should happen, and what a treat it would be for boxing’s die-hard supporters.

Probability it happens in 2024: 90%