In what looks to be an exciting year ahead for sports fans, rumours and speculation seem to be lighting up the fighting world. Things certainly seem to be getting more entertaining in a time where everyone was getting a bit tense due to the lack of action. The UFC kept the flag flying in the fighting world by staging events at so-called Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, when it wasn’t possible to host them safely in the U.S.
The spread of the deadly Coronavirus across the globe and travel restrictions implemented to hinder the speed of transmission meant that a lot of big name events were shelved or indeed cancelled last year. Patient punters are just itching to get involved on sites such as lvbet.com. Now that things seem to be calming down, who are the names on everyone’s lips? What are the fights people would like to see and has anyone missed their opportunity?
A Slow Moving Year
It may seem to fans of fighting or normal people in the street that for various reasons big fights don’t really happen anymore. People yearn for the days of the heavyweight bruisers like Tyson and Holyfield battling it out for titles or serious pride on the line. There just doesn’t seem to be that range of emotion involved anymore, from the fighters or the public. While the UFC arranges title fights and main events regularly, boxing seems weighed down by rules or money.
Boxers may find themselves scheduled to fight in matches that only interrupt the potential of the real show downs that the public are clamouring for. A prime example of this at the moment is the ongoing saga between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, both British fighters and holders of all heavyweight belts between them. A unification match had been planned but is being delayed because of fights against Deontay Wilder and Oleksandr Usyk respectively.
Has Anything Changed?
Folks have gotten bored of waiting. In a world dominated by promoters, a lot of fighters seem to be taking advantage of social media to get their views across on who they would like to fight. Indeed many fighters are choosing to trade insults and challenges over these platforms. In some cases, people who see themselves as celebrities and wannabe fighters have actually started training and running their mouths calling out actual fighters.
The response to this has been interesting from fans and fighters alike. Some fighters have felt disrespected, others may be eager to take the money on offer for these types of fights. Fans are intrigued, as matchups they didn’t believe possible, or indeed hadn’t even foreseen until recently were now being discussed openly. Exhibition fights seem to be a hot topic right now. While there was no knockout, the recent fight between Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul and the money involved only confirms this level of interest.
The Rise of the Exhibition Fight
So indeed if this trend was to continue, a few speculative fights would catch the eye. While none are definite, for sure most would capture the imagination of the general public and indeed other fighters themselves. Apart from the money, fighters are curious to see when these matchups take place. It’s clear that Saul Canelo Alvarez is not a fan, but he has not ruled out the possibility of getting involved. Let’s have a look at a few matchups that would light up 2021.
- Khabib Vs Mayweather
Having both already fought loudmouth Irish fighter Conor McGregor and won, rumours abound that Khabib would like to try his skills in the boxing ring against one of the greatest of all time. However, he decided to retire from UFC after the death of his father. Both remain undefeated and the figures mentioned for this fight have been astronomical.
- McGregor Vs Logan Paul
Fresh from his fight against Floyd Mayweather, which resulted in no winner but certainly a lot of viewers and profits for both fighters, Paul has set his sights on Conor McGregor. Conor is a massive draw for the UFC with his brash style and has crossed over before, facing Mayweather in 2017.
- Kamuru Usman Vs Jake Paul
The younger brother of Logan, these guys are advertising geniuses. Established UFC fighters and genuine champions were stunned at the numbers being earned in these exhibition matches. Words have been exchanged between these fighters over the last few months and many feel a fight is inevitable.
- Francis Ngannou Vs Tyson Fury
Two absolute giants of their respective sports, while this fight is unlikely, stranger things have happened. Huge and powerful fighters, this would be a big payday if it could be organised and would be an interesting crossover to boxing for Ngannou.
- Amanda Nunes Vs Kim Kardashian
A comment by UFC president Dana White simply regarding the sheer level of interest in these exhibition matches sparked interest with ladies around the world as champion Nunes jokingly called out Kardashian, one of the biggest female celebrities on the planet.
Are Any of these Likely to Happen?
While it’s hard to say, the power of money and fame has nearly overshadowed a lot of aspects of fighting these days. Fighters who feel they are getting paid poorly, for let’s face it, competing in very dangerous sports, may feel these fights’ pay days could justify the possible ridicule from the fighting world that may come their way for taking part. The ease of making enemies on the internet and pride of fighters could see some interesting times ahead. Some fighters just cannot resist and the Paul brothers are notoriously well known for trolling their targets.
Whether you are a fan of these exhibition fights or not, it certainly looks like they are here to stay. In a sense, they are highly entertaining, bringing together fighters that previously seemed quite hard to organise. Others are worried about the safety aspect, highly trained fighters against people with little or no experience, or even crossing sports to face former champions in a sport they are not used to. For punters, some of the odds available on these matches are so bad they are better off trying their luck on casino slots. However, the fighters know the risks and the public wish to see some battles. Brace yourself for an exciting year, with insults flying everywhere as the money train keeps going.