2015 is likely to be another big year for British boxing…
Why DeGale-Groves 2 would be bigger than Froch-Groves: (Analysis) Feuding pair on collision course.
Brook says Khan not even best in Britain: IBF champion wants British showdown.
Boxing fans deserve Mayweather-Pacquiao: (Analysis) Old rivals could finally clash.
After a huge year for boxing, 2015 promises to be just as exciting with a whole host of big fights set to be made both in the UK and abroad.
The last 12 months saw Carl Froch and George Groves cross paths for a second time in front of 80,000 fans on an historic night at Wembley back in May, while from a British perspective, there was also a memorable night in August as Kell Brook conquered California and Shawn Porter for the IBF welterweight title.
Amir Khan continued his pursuit of Floyd Mayweather with an impressive win over Devon Alexander in December, while Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly renewed their heated rivalry in Liverpool in November.
Elsewhere, Wladimir Klitschko continued his reign as king of the heavyweight division ahead of bigger tests next year and there were many other memorable fights and fighters who emerged over the last 12 months.
Nevertheless, while the sport enjoyed a renaissance in 2014, next year is expected to follow up on the fights already delivered and it will only further help rebuild the popularity of boxing.
Here are five fights to look out for in 2015:
DeGale vs Groves II
The rivalry between this pair goes back years and their professional clash back in 2011 did little to end their feud. While Groves won and went on to fight on big stages for world titles over the last 12 months, DeGale signed with Matchroom and has re-established himself in a talented division with some impressive performances this year.
Groves is the mandatory challenger for the WBC title currently held by Anthony Dirrell, and it is expected that DeGale will fight Andre Dirrell for the vacant IBF title when Carl Froch secures a date in Las Vegas. However, promoter Eddie Hearn wants to pit the pair against each other for a title before that, and it is inevitable that their paths will cross again in 2015. The build-up, the fight itself and the platform to go on and dominate the weight class makes this one not to miss.
Brook vs Khan
Eddie Hearn believes that this fight will fill Wembley Stadium next summer, and it is hard to disagree with him. These two have clashed from the word go, and Brook has an IBF title to add to the mix despite Khan continually suggesting that he still has to prove himself.
Khan continues to desperately chase a fight with Floyd Mayweather, but if that fight isn’t made, then this would undoubtedly be a treat for British boxing fans in particular. Another big night at Wembley awaits as yet another domestic rivalry captures the attention of the public and a win for Brook would push his name into the mix for Mayweather and Pacquiao while a loss for Khan could be devastating.
Kovalev vs Stevenson
Kovalev has now secured the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, while Stevenson has the WBC strap in his possession. As two of the biggest punchers in the world, this fight would be hugely entertaining.
While Kovalev arguably has the edge after his impressive points win over legend Bernard Hopkins, Stevenson has game-changing power and it would be an edge-of-your-seat kind of bout with both men capable of finishing it off in style.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao
Although this is a fight that fans wanted to see years ago when both men were in their prime, the boxing industry deserves for it to still happen. Mayweather wants the fight on May 2, Pacquiao has replied and said he is ready.
However, as has been the case throughout negotiations, there are still various aspects of the deal to be worked out but there is a general sense that this time it could happen. While it perhaps wouldn’t be as explosive and entertaining as it would have been five years ago, it would certainly go down in history as one of the biggest fights ever.
Joshua vs Fury
Fury will hope to secure a date with Wladimir Klitschko before this fight happens as he continues to push for a world title shot. If he wins then a clash with Joshua would be massive, if he loses, then a Klitschko-Joshua encounter would be equally as captivating.
Joshua will continue his development with a January bout with Kevin Johnson, but Eddie Hearn is confident he will be ready for his domestic rivals through the course of 2015. Heavyweights seemingly are a bigger draw to the public anyway, but the Olympian has the talent, personality and team around him to become a global superstar and Hearn is adamant that he can beat Fury despite having only 10 professional fights under his belt.