5 boxing fights we need to see before 2024 is over

Boxing has already had a great year but here are five match-ups that could make it even better.
Canelo Alvarez
Canelo Alvarez / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The first half of 2024 has delivered for diehard and casual boxing fans alike. The influx of money from Saudi Arabia and the willingness of his excellency Turki Al-Sheikh to make the most compelling boxing matches has been a huge shot in the arm for the sport. Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk was an absolute barn burner and the current leader for Fight of the Year honors. Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou was a massive event and is the leader for knockout of the year. Ryan Garcia vs. Devin Haney provided an upset along with massive controversy. Canelo Alvarez vs. Jaime Mungia gave us an all-Mexican showdown many had been clamoring for. Naoya Inoue vs. Luis Nery gave us drama and saw the seemingly indestructible Inoue overcome a dramatic knockdown to knock out Nery. In short, 2024 has been awesome so far.

Here are the five fights we need to see for the second half of 2024 to live up to the first.

Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Gervonta Davis

These two have been on a collision course for a long time. Davis outright avoided Lomachenko earlier in his career with his promoter Floyd Mayweather wanting him to mature more before fighting
someone as seasoned as Lomachenko. Now, the timing couldn’t be better. Lomachenko fought Haney for the lightweight undisputed championship last year and came up a little bit short. Many thought Lomachenko pulled it off having outlanded Haney. Still, in the wake of Haney moving to super lightweight, the titles became vacant and Lomachenko picked up the vacant IBF strap with an impressive KO win against George Kambosos. Davis has been elevated to full title in the WBA and recently scored a dominating KO win against Frank Martin. The rival promoters for both titlists are rumored to be in extensive talks to make the fight. This is a must-see bout with competing styles
and would be a legacy-defining win for both fighters.

Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk 2

This heavyweight championship rematch is already scheduled to take place in December of this year. The first fight was an instant classic. Both men had their moments in the first half of the fight with Usyk taking over in the second half and nearly knocking Fury in the ninth. Fury’s nose appeared to be broken. It was a masterclass performance by Usyk who gave up nearly 60 pounds in weight and six inches in height to the Gypsy King. Even though this fight is scheduled, boxing diehards are always skeptical about a Fury fight until both fighters are in the ring and the national anthems are being played. Fury has delayed or pulled out of big fights before. Fury-Usky seemed to be on again and off again for almost two years. Even the rematch initially had a date for October penciled in only to be moved to December. Let’s hope we get this heavyweight title rematch this year and that both
men deliver as they did in the first bout.

Artur Beterbiev vs. Dimitrii Bivol

This undisputed light heavyweight championship was originally scheduled for June 1. Beterbiev pulled out with an injury causing the fight to be postponed until October. Beterbiev has been injury-prone in recent years and has averaged one fight a year for the last three years. In fact, if he fights this year, this will be the first time he has fought more than once in a calendar year since 2021. Bivol
fought a replacement opponent on June 1. Despite the risk of losing, Bivol wanted to get the most out of his training camp, stay active in the ring, and of course, get a payday. Beterbiev is the only active champion in boxing who has won all of his professional contests by knockout. Through the course of his career, he has consolidated 3 light heavyweight world titles and is considered the lineal champion. But the years have taken their toll and getting through a training camp unscathed has been a real challenge. Bivol has defended the WBA version of the light heavyweight title a stunning 11 consecutive times and received Fighter of the Year honors in 2022 for his wins over Canelo and Zurdo Ramirez. This fight between undefeated champions could not be more important for determining who is the best of this era.

Canelo Alvarez vs. David Benavidez

These two have been circling each other for years. Alvarez is the first undisputed super middleweight champion and Benavidez has been lingering as a challenger ever since Alvarez entered the division.
Part of the reason that this hasn’t happened is the fault of Benavidez who was stripped of the WBC title twice, once for a weight issue and once for a failed drug test. Had he maintained his status as champion, Alvarez would’ve fought him a few years ago in his quest for undisputed. But I think it’s time we forgive Benavidez for this. He has strung together impressive wins over Caleb Plant, Demetrius Andrade, and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Benavidez holds the WBC interim title at both
super middleweight and light heavyweight. Why the WBC has not mandated this fight could be the subject of an entire article. Alvarez is a living legend in the sport and has more than earned the right to call his own shots. It is rumored that Edgar Berlanga, Jermall Charlo and even Kevin Eubank Jr. are being considered as his next opponents. These are nowhere near as compelling as a Benavidez. If Alvarez retires without facing Benavidez, the latter half of his career will be scrutinized as leaving much to be desired.

Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Carlos Adames

Since the retirement of Gennady Golovkin and Alvarez’s move to super middleweight, the middleweight division has been languishing with a slew of “no names” and even a titlist not ranked in The Ring Magazine's top 10. Alimkhanuly has emerged as the consensus number one in the division and has unified two belts. In the wake of Jermall Charlo’s personal issues that led to the WBC stripping him, Adames was elevated to full WBC champion. Alimkhanuly vs. Adames is the fight to make to reestablish a lineal champion and to begin to restore the glamour of the division.