Jermell Charlo vs Brian Castano could kick off a series of potential undisputed title fights including Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk and Errol Spence Jr vs Terence Crawford
Boxing is a notoriously complicated and difficult sport when it comes to making fights, with the best rarely fighting the best.
This weekend, however, the two best fighters at 154 lbs in Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano will battle it out for the undisputed super welterweight crown.
In the first fight between the two last year, it ended in a controversial split decision draw, as it seemed Castano had done enough to claim the victory, but one judge scored it 117-111 in Charlo’s favour.
This time both men have vowed not to let it go to the judges and if true we should see an undisputed champion in the super welterweight division.
Whoever that may be will join Canelo and Josh Taylor, who are both slightly ironically coming off the back of poor performances, as boxing’s only other undisputed champions.
With that being said, there are six other divisions in boxing that are teetering on the edge of crowning an undisputed champion and so if boxing finally gets its act together and makes the right fights over the next year, we could see some clarity emerge in what is usually such a convoluted sport.
The most anticipated potential undisputed clash in world boxing would come in the heavyweight division between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
Fury has technically retired, but even his wife admitted an undisputed fight could tempt ‘The Gypsy King’ back into the ring.
As for Usyk, he will need to get past Anthony Joshua for a second time, as they are set for a rematch in July, but if boxing history has taught us anything, it’s that repeat is far more likely than revenge.
Boxing schedule 2022: Results and dates including Fury vs Whyte, Usyk vs Joshua
In the welterweight division, fans have been calling for Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford to fight each other for years, but boxing politics has always got in the way, with both men signed to rival promotional companies.
Crawford, however, is now a free agent having split with Top Rank and a clash with Spence Jr looks more likely than ever.
When Spence Jr beat Yordenis Ugas in his most recent outing, he added the WBA strap to his WBC and IBF belt collection, with Crawford holding the final title in the division, the WBO.
After the fight, Spence Jr called out Crawford saying, “Everybody knows who I want next, I want Terence Crawford next.
“That’s the fight that I want, that’s the fight that everybody else wants and like I said, I’m going to get these straps.
“I’m going to go over there and take his s*** too. Terence, I’m coming for that motherf****** belt.”
Crawford responded on Twitter saying, ”Now the real fight happens. No more talk no more side of the street let’s go!!!”
These are very encouraging signs that we could finally get one of the longest-awaited fights in boxing, although there has been no news of late as to whether negotiations for the bout have begun.
One undisputed clash that has already been made is between George Kambosos Jr and Devin Haney in the lightweight division.
Kambosos Jr won three of the four lightweight titles when he beat Lomachenko’s conqueror, Teofimo Lopez last year.
At the time it seemed that the Australian would be crowned undisputed champion, as Lopez also held the WBC ‘franchise’ title, but for whatever reason that was not the case and it was confirmed that instead, Devin Haney was the WBC lightweight champion.
Now, the titles will finally be unified and the WBC will no longer be able to bring chaos to the 135 lb division with their array of made up titles, as the winner will officially become the undisputed lightweight champion.
Elsewhere, Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue and Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire are set for a repeat of their 2019 ‘Fight of the Year’ when they meet on June 7th.
The winner will have the WBC, WBA and IBF bantamweight world titles and could challenge Britain’s WBO champion, Paul Butler for the undisputed 118 lb crown.
In the light heavyweight division Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr are preparing for an explosive clash on June 18th and the winner will be in position to take on Dmitry Bivol, who recently beat Canelo, for the undisputed 175 lb titles.
Finally, the lesser known duo of Stephen Fulton Jr and Murodjon Akhmadaliev currently hold all the titles in the super bantamweight division.
They are both tied up with other fights at the moment but if they come through their upcoming challenges unscathed an undisputed title fight at 122 lbs could be on the cards.
Almost every other sport in the world, whether it’s football, tennis or golf, pits the best against the best every year and boxing has never followed suit.
But, the sport is perfectly poised to change that fact and perhaps we will see some progress over the next year with a clear ‘number one’ crowned in most of the weight classes.
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