2020 is set to be a year full of exciting boxing fights, with Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2 as the very first one that springs to mind.
Some are only days or weeks away, while others are still in negotiation. Some have already occured, as the first title fight of the year in the UK took place last Sunday when Deion Jumah battled with challenger Sam Hyde over 12 enthralling rounds to retain his English cruiserweight title.
But overall, here’s a quick look at some of the most highly anticipated boxing matches that will, or could, occur in 2020, as well as some betting odds and predictions:
Undefeated middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade will be making his third title defense against ‘Cool Hand’ Luke Keeler on January 30th, and many sportsbooks have challenger Keeler as a massive underdog. We’re talking odds between 9/1 or +2500, depending on the website, odds so skewed you would never imagine them in a title fight.
'Boo Boo' Andrade is undefeated in his career, with a record of 28 wins, 17 of them by KO. The 31-year-old is a very solid fighter, but one criticism against him is that his record is padded with lesser fighters. To Andrade’s credit, he’s been very vocal about wanting big-name fights with names like Canelo Alvarez and Jermall Charlo, but he’s been given WBO #3 Luke Keeler instead.
'Cool Hand' is no slouch, though. He’s a former two-time WBO European middleweight champion, has gone unbeaten in his last eight fights, including an upset win over highly-rated Luis Arias, and he has the potential to make January 30 another upset night. He is one of the most improved boxers in the world right now and is capable of causing an upset.
In any case, Andrade needs a dominant performance to silence his critics, and Luke Keeler needs a miracle to beat those odds.
A possible matchup between Fury and Wilder had been speculated on for quite some years prior to their collision on December 1, 2018, a fight which ended in a controversial split draw. Fans immediately clamored for a rematch, as the WBC championship contest provided many memorable moments from two heavyweight warriors.
Briton Fury in particular showed tremendous heart during the 12th round, getting back to his feet after a devastating right-left combination from Wilder that put him flat on his back, which even the commentary team believed was a knockout. He shocked the world getting back to his feet during the referee’s count, and even finished the round with some heavy shots of his own against Wilder.
They’ll be back in the ring to settle the score on February 22, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, USA. As for betting odds, roles have reversed for this rematch, as Tyson Fury is currently the betting favourite with around -125 odds in many sportsbooks, and Wilder at around +115. If you plan on doing any betting on this fight or any others, check out the newly launched Casumo sports betting odds.
In their first match, Wilder was the favourite to win as the defending champion, but the judges’ decision was so razor-thin that many predict only a few slight tweaks to Fury’s game plan will give him the victory over Wilder in this rematch.
On February 8, Kell Brooks will face Mark DeLuca in a fight many predict Kell Brooks to win. Even Kell Brooks himself said he would retire forever if DeLuca defeats him. So while Mark DeLuca is more of a tune-up fight for Brooks, many are holding their breath for a highly anticipated matchup against Amir Khan, which both fighters have stated could happen in 2020 - assuming the planets perfectly align.
Kell Brooks has been vocal that Amir Khan is a dream fight for him, as their rivalry goes back several years, and Khan has also told media reporters that a fight with Brooks is a “great idea”. On paper it all sounds very lovely, but there are some obstacles.
For starters, Khan was demanding this fight happen at 147 pounds back in 2018, a weight that is fairly difficult for Brooks to meet. Second, Khan is dreaming of bigger blockbuster fights now, including a potential fight against Manny Pacquiao. In any case, both fighters hinted they’re open to making this fight happen in 2020, so let’s see what happens after Kell Brooks meets Mark DeLuca on February 8th.
If this fight does materialize, expect the odds to swing either way, and the fight itself to be a classic case of speed (Khan) vs size (Brooks).
The Pacman has his choice of opponents in 2020, including a potential rematch against Floyd Mayweather, or a fight with UFC’s Conor McGregor, either of which would be massive PPV events that appeal to mainstream fight fans.
Pacquiao can also fight some names like Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Terence Crawford, or even a rematch against Keith Thurman - all of which would be challenging fights for the 41-year-old boxer-senator.
Nothing is set in stone, and obviously Pacquiao has his pick of the litter to lace up gloves against, but he will fight in 2020. So it’s just a matter of waiting to see what name is announced for his opponent.
As for odds, well, a rematch with Mayweather would likely go the way of their first bout - Mayweather’s defense is just too good for the swarming Pacquiao, who was hitting air all night in their first fight.
Conor Mcgregor would be an interesting fight for Pacquiao, as the Irish southpaw would be seen as a novelty crossover from the world of UFC, but McGregor managed to land some nice early shots against Floyd Mayweather - something Pacquiao couldn’t do. But once again, let’s wait until a name is confirmed before we start making predictions.
“Tyson is doing well and is a very, very nice guy. They have all been very welcoming and have offered me advice and stuff like that. I knew Tyson and his family a little bit before I came out so we all clicked and his younger brothers are not far from where I was in Manchester.
“We have had some good laughs, while his coach has given me some second-to-none advice and I have been like a sponge taking it all in and learning every time I get in the ring.
“I even watch Tyson on the bag as he is a similar size to me and he uses it very well. The stuff I am picking up over here I am keen to put into practice,” added Thompson, who believes Tyson is bonding well with new trainer SugarHill Steward.
“I think it is going well and they have a good working relationship. Tyson has the body type where the Kronk legacy fits him perfectly, with everything being off the jab and that is Tyson. They have a good level of respect for each other and I think it is a two-way relationship not dominated by one person.
“They have got a good thing going and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out on the night. He is in tip-top shape, I can tell you that.”