The pace of the boxing calendar is relentless, and 2023 is no different. You can look forward to heavyweight title action from the big hitters, with Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury poised to defend their belts. Anthony Joshua is on a monumental comeback trail; do we have a Cinderella story on our hands? And, of course, we have the YouTube GenZ ‘fighters’ like Jake Paul and Tommy Fury.
With that much excitement on the table, fans are on the ‘take my money’ mantra to watch these guys in the ring and on PPV. It’s why they follow the careers of their favorite fighters, down to what they like to eat for breakfast. It’s why people will even put their hard-earned cash on their gut feeling, their favorite fighter standing tall. With so many boxing events to bet on online, and many types of bets to place (group betting, total rounds, betting on the method of victory, and similar) there’s always a new dream to place your hopes on.
Before we delve into an ode to boxing in poetry form, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of 2023’s boxing calendar. We’re not going to give you every single fight out there, you can get iCal to tell you that. But we’re going to cover the major fights you should not miss, not even for your sister’s wedding. The dates you need to mark on your calendar with a big red pen, and the results of fights gone by.
Tyson Fury’s Dream = Over
Let’s start with a story that’s fresh off the press: Joe Joyce’s first professional loss against Zhilei Zhang. This fight tells you why we love boxing. The bookies may have put Joyce as the overwhelming favorite, but it looks like Zhang wasn’t listening.
In a memorable display, he upset his opponent in the sixth round, with a stunned crowd acting as the backdrop at the Copper Box Arena in London. From the start, it was obvious Joyce wouldn’t get an easy pass. And in round six, Zhang put an end to Joyce’s Tyson Fury dream.
It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This (April 22, 2023)
Get your red pen out, you’re going to want to circle April 22, 2023. Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia has been dubbed It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This. That’s some pressure, sure, but we think it’s going to be an epic fight.
Davis is known for his tactical nous and sheer power, whereas Ryan Garcia offers unpredictable speed. He also has the size advantage over the Tank. Combined, these two fighters have a 51-0 record. Someone is going to lose their undefeated tag; we can’t wait.
Mexican Superstar to Defend Title vs. London Underdog (May 6, 2023)
This one could be very interesting indeed. John Ryder, the unfancied Brit, faces the celebrated Canelo Álvarez. It’s happening in the Mexican’s own backyard, his native Guadalajara.
No one expects the London Southpaw to walk away a winner. Yet he has a decent record himself, 32-5-0, 18 KOs. He’s on a four-year run of winning, even getting his hands on interim super middleweight titles. He’s also fresh off two massive victories, edging Danny Jacobs and Zach Parker.
Yet Álvarez should win this one. It’s his first fight in Mexico in over a decade, so he’ll be looking to impress. He’s also the current holder of four super middleweight titles, and he has them for a reason.
Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk (TBC?)
It’s the biggest ‘will they won’t they’ story since Ross and Rachel. It seemed ready to go, with everything (seemingly) agreed, yet the Gipsy King’s camp pulled out and the whole thing has now been called off.
But we can still hope that this era-defining bout will still happen. Of course, it won’t be on April 29, even if Fury still has Wembley booked in. Yet the speculation continues, and we would be surprised if it didn’t end up happening. Nothing to mark on the calendar just yet, but watch this space.
Joshua Buatsi vs Pawel Stepien (May 6, 2023)
This is one of the most exciting fights on the calendar in the coming months. Joshua Buatsi is going to face Pawel Stepien, and the former is on course for a world title shot. Yet Stepien is definitely a dangerous fighter and could cause an upset here.
Buatsi has spoken to the press ahead of the fight, highlighting his strategy of being ‘the hunter’ in the ring, being aggressive and dominant, and not giving his opponent the chance to get into the fight. It looks like the bookies agree this is what’s going to happen, as they’re offering long 15/2 odds on Pawel walking away as the winner.
Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz (August 5, 2023)
Some of the purists are going to hate us for listing this fight, but we have to do it. Our final entry is a true reflection of our modern times, with YouTube star Jake Paul taking on the bad boy of UFC in Nate Diaz.
Despite the circus theatrics, we still expect an interesting contest. No matter how much some fans despise him, Jake Paul is a decent fighter. Nate Diaz is going to be a very tough opponent, perhaps the MMA fighter who can finally erase Paul’s undefeated record against his UFC brethren.
This is just a snapshot of what you have to look forward to. With negotiations still taking place and epic fights not yet on the calendar, you’re going to have to follow our news like a hawk. You don’t want to miss a potential Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder, would you?