We have already seen a couple of fantastic boxing matches this year including Tyson Fury defeating Dillian Whyte and Saul Alvarez’s shock defeat to Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol.
However, later this year we have a couple of massive fights to look forward to featuring four of the most popular and explosive fighters in the world.
In late July, Oleksandr Usyk will defend the titles he won in his last fight in the rematch against the former holder of those belts, Anthony Joshua.
Then in September, the trilogy has been confirmed as once again Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will go head to head with Gennady Golovkin for the third time in what should be an incredible and massively popular trilogy fight this September.
Let’s now look ahead to both these big fights, as well as giving you the latest odds on who will win each of the bouts as provided by bet365 Sport.
Oleksandr Usyk v Anthony Joshua – Heavyweight World Title
These two first met back in September 2021 when Joshua was the heavy favourite to land the win and retain his four heavyweight world titles, WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF.
However, in a somewhat surprising turn of events, instead of using his height, weight and reach advantage to try and overpower the much smaller Usyk, Joshua instead tried to outbox the Ukrainian.
It was a flawed tactic against such a talented boxer as Usyk, who systematically dismantled Joshua during the fight, leaving his opponent in serious danger of a knockout on at least three occasions during the bout, including right at the end of the fight.
Joshua survived until the final bell, but there was no surprise when the decision was announced and Usyk claimed the belts with a unanimous victory over the British star.
- Rematch Clause
As is becoming customary for big fights nowadays, Joshua had inserted a rematch clause into the contract for the fight ensuring that he got a second chance at Usyk should he lose his belts and the British star quickly announced he intended to use that clause to guarantee a rematch.
That scuppered hopes of a unification bout between Usyk and Tyson Fury, who holds the WBC version of the title and is the Lineal Ring Magazine Champion, as well as meaning that Joshua and Fury would once again dodge facing each other in the ring.
However, after criticism of his approach to the first fight, Anthony Joshua dispensed with his long-time trainer Robert McCracken and travelled to the United States to visit several gyms in the hope of finding a trainer who he felt could help him regain his titles.
After visiting with several potential trainers, Joshua announced recently that Mexican-American Robert Garcia would be his trainer for the second fight with Usyk.
Usyk meanwhile had joined his compatriots in battling against Russian soldiers that had invaded Ukraine, but he was given special dispensation to leave his unit and head abroad to train for this bout.
- Latest Betting
The early betting markets for the fight suggest that punters feel another win for the classy Usyk is very likely. The Ukrainian is the 2/5 odds on favourite to land the win, while Joshua is the 7/4 underdog to regain his titles.
You can’t really argue with those odds given how much Usyk bossed the first fight between the two and how comfortable he was in the ring against a considerably bigger opponent.
The question many fight fans now have is whether Robert Garcia can work with Joshua over the coming months to adopt a fight plan to get the better of Usyk. That may well be the best chance the British fighter has of regaining his titles.
The fight is scheduled for Saturday 23rd July and the venue is set to be in Saudi Arabia.
And once this fight is over, we only have just over a month or so to wait until what is arguably going to be the fight of the year in boxing.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez v Gennady Golovkin – Super Middleweight World Title
Canelo v GGG III has been one of the most eagerly anticipated trilogy fights in history and several years after the two last shared a ring, they will meet again in September with both seeking to unify the Super Middleweight division.
The first two fights between the two produced explosive and controversial results and they have been a matter of fevered debate in boxing circles for many years. Now, several years later, the two will lace up the gloves once again for a third fight.
- Canelo V GGG I and II
The first bout between the two took place in September 2017 in Las Vegas and was a hugely exciting fight as Golovkin defended his WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO Middleweight Championship belts against Canelo, who was the Ring’s middleweight Champion.
Despite the fight being a close affair, many pundits felt that Golovkin, who landed more punches in 10 of the 12 rounds of the fight, had done enough to earn the win.
When the judges scorecards came in, one judge had scored the fight 113-115 in favour of Golovkin, another had scored it a draw but the third had inexplicably scored the fight 118-110 in favour of Canelo.
That split draw staggered many who felt that while a draw was a possibility, there was no way Canelo had won eight more rounds than his opponent in that first fight.
Given the controversy, talk soon began about a rematch, which was set to take place in March 2018, but a failed drugs test for Canelo saw the fight delayed until September 2018.
The rematch was a much closer affair, but once again, many ringside felt that Golovkin had done just enough to land the win. Of 18 TV crews that were scoring the bout, 10 had Golovkin winning, 7 had the fight a draw and just one had Canelo winning.
However, Alvarez got the decision, winning 115-113 on two cards, while the other scored the fight as a draw.
A trilogy was mooted but it has taken four years to materialise.
- Latest Betting Odds
Canelo will drop down to Super Middlweight for this bout, with Golovkin stepping up to Super Middleweight for the first time in his career.
Both fighters come into the fight on the back of below par showings, Canelo losing for the second time in his career to Dimitry Bivol at light heavyweight while Golovkin returned after 18 months out of the ring with a sluggish 9th round win over Ryota Murata back in April.
Alvarez is 2/9 to win the fight, with Golovkin a 3/1 chance to claim the victory.
There’s plenty of time to get your bet on for both these big fights and remember to check back to bet365 over the coming months for a wide range of great boxing bets across a large number of fights.