It’s fair to say that the sport of boxing has taken quite a few blows so far this year. However, as the festive period fast approaches, there are still several big fights to look forward to – especially for British boxing fans. WBA (super), WBO, IBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be back in the ring for the first time in 12 months on December 12th, whilst fellow Britons Callum Smith and Luke Campbell are also in action over the course of the next few weeks.
So, read on as we take look at the jam-packed festive period…
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev – December 12th – Wembley Arena, London
AJ will defend his heavyweight titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at the Wembley Arena on December 12th. The bout will mark the Watford-native’s first fight in the United Kingdom since he beat Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium back in September 2018, and it’ll come as no surprise that he is the heavy favourite in the Joshua vs Pulev odds from Paddy Power. The Briton is yet to fight at the North London-based venue, and it’s going to be very different circumstances, as the current government guidelines mean that the iconic venue will only be able to host around 1,000 people – a far cry from the 90,000-strong home support that AJ has become accustomed to at the likes of Wembley.
Canelo Álvarez vs Callum Smith – December 19th – San Antonio, Texas
Liverpool’s Callum Smith (27-0) will defend his WBA (Super) and The Ring super-middleweight titles against Mexican Canelo Álvarez (53-1-2). The bout will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, and Smith is up against the odds facing Álvarez, who is considered to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world right now.
However, despite his underdog status, the unbeaten Smith is confident he can beat the Mexican, who knocked out his older brother Liam in the same state back in 2016, claiming: “I’ve been wanting a big fight since becoming world champion, so I’m so pleased that during these challenging times we can deliver to the fans a fight between the very best in the division.
“I truly believe I beat him and will prove that 168 pounds is my division.”
Ryan García vs Luke Campbell – January 2nd – Venue TBC
Two-time world title challenger Luke Campbell and the promising Ryan García were due to clash for the WBC interim lightweight title on December 5th. However, those plans were thrown out the window when Hull-native Campbell, who will be hoping to bounce back from that defeat to Vasyl Lomachenko last August, tested positive for COVID-19 in the build up to the first bout. The pair will now touch gloves on January 2nd, with the stateside venue yet to be confirmed. Worryingly for 33-year-old Campbell, who has 11 years on his opponent, García is heavy favourite with the bookies at 4/9.
The winner of the fight will become the mandatory challenger for Devin Haney’s WBC lightweight belt, and García revealed he is excited to get back in the ring.
“I’ve been eagerly waiting to get back in the ring and have been working harder than ever to get here,” said The Flash.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone, but I’m excited to bring the fans an escape for the night. Or, based on my track record, a few minutes at most.”
Gennadiy Golovkin will also defend his middleweight IBF and IBO world titles against Kamil Szeremeta in Hollywood, Florida on December 18th.Copyright © 2023 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.