With seven world champions currently and others on the way, 2022 is shaping up to be an interesting year for Mexican boxing, with Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez as the main attraction and others in search of unifications or to become idols.
Next, the 9 stories that will mark Mexican boxing in 2022.
1. The crusade of Canelo Álvarez
After a historic year for Canelo by consolidating as the best Pound for pound and being the first Latin American to conquer an undisputed title in the super middleweight, looking for new challenges. And one of them could be to win a title in a fifth division: cruiserweight.
Despite the criticism that this generated, Canelo wants to face Ilunga Makabu and they have even seen faces in Mexico City. Makabu is willing to face him, but first he would have to make his mandatory defense on January 29 in Warren, Ohio, with the South African Thabiso Mchunu.
If that fight does not take place for the Mexican, there are at least five rivals on the list of candidates for him. Canelo, with two different roadmaps: stay at 168 pounds, or start a campaign at 175.
David benavidez has been looking for it, and although Canelo He seems not to care, he is the last opponent he needs to really sweep 168 pounds.
Many fans, and some promoters, remain hopeful that Canelo complete the trilogy with Gennady Golovkin, but the Kazakh has a fight on the door with Ryota murata which could be in March or April. That would make Golovkin not available until the last third of the year.
Yes Canelo He decides to seek new challenges at 175 pounds, without a doubt that he will go for the champions, with the task of being crowned undisputed champion. Champions are Dmitry Bivol, by AMB; Artur Beterbiev, for him CMB and the FIB; Y Joe smith, by OMB. Bivol Y Beterbiev They fought last December, and are available to start 2022; Smith fight on January 15th.
The Canelo He is on a crusade to accumulate the achievements that place him as the best fighter in the history of Mexican boxing, and 2022 will be a fundamental year for that.
2. El Gallo Estrada goes for his legacy for history
After beating Román “Chocolatito” González On March 13, in the year to start, it is imminent that the trilogy between the Nicaraguan and the Gallo EstradaMarch 5 is even mentioned as a tentative date for said confrontation.
The Rooster, super flyweight champion of the AMB and WBC franchise champion, and the Chocolatito They must clear up doubts about their last fight and show who is better in the ring.
If the Mexican prevails, he has already said that he wants to be the undisputed champion and would wait for the winner of the unification fight between the other two champions, Kazuto Ioka, by OMB, Y Jerwin ancajas, by FIB.
The year of Gallo Estrada It will be of definitions to comment on his legacy in the history of Mexican boxing. To win again his historical archrival, the Chocolatito, Estrada I’d take a giant leap on that mission. And if after that, he manages to become the undisputed super fly champion, he could get into the list of the 10 best Mexicans in history.
So 2022 is a year of historical definitions for the Gallo Estrada and its place in the history of Mexican boxing.
3. Óscar Valdez, towards redemption
The Sonoran boxer is shaping up to make his second defense of the featherweight title of the CMB and one of the names that sounds the most as a possible rival is one of the main young figures in world boxing, Shakur Stevenson. But nevertheless, Bob arum, promoter of the Mexican, wants that Oscar in front of Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, which would rise from featherweights.
After proclaiming himself super featherweight champion of the CMB with a brutal knockout over Miguel Berchelt, Oscar Valdez left some doubts in his first defense with Robson Conceicao. There were even experts and fans who mentioned that they gave him the victory. And that controversial victory was preceded by a doping scandal of which Valdez He was released without suspension in between, but with his image severely questioned.
A) Yes, Oscar Valdez he is obliged to remove the thorn. To redeem himself, looking good and showing that he is a true monarch. And for that, you need a big, clear win, in a memorable fight. Either with Navarrete or with Stevenson.
4. Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, for the consecration
The Navarrete cowboy He established himself in 2021 as one of the most attractive fighters for the fan.
Navarrete, featherweight champion of the OMB he wants to start an ambitious campaign at 126 pounds and will look to the other agencies for the titles. However, problems outside the ring could hinder his career, since a few weeks ago he declared himself a free agent, but in Zanfer promotions They assure that he still has a contract. That could lead to litigation that puts the career of Navarrete.
While that is sorted out, the return of Navarrete It could happen in the first quarter of the year to make the third defense of his title and to unify. He does not have a clear possible rival in a division where there are champions like Leo Santa Cruz (super champion AMB), Leigh wood (AMB), Kiko Martínez (IBF) Y Gary Russell Jr (WBC), who already has a fight scheduled for January 22 against Mark magsayo.
If you don’t get a unit fight, chances are Navarrete decide to move up to 130 pounds. There, your promoter Top rank also has signed more important rivals such as Oscar Valdez Y Shakur stevenson. Both are bigger fights than you can find at 126 pounds.
5. Julio César “Rey” Martínez, goes for unification
The fly champion of the CMB He only has one goal at 112 pounds by 2022: to unify titles and the main goal is Sunny edwards, monarch of the FIB, although he does not rule out fighting with Together Nakatani or Artem Dalakian.
With just over two years as fly champion and after the “No contest” against McWilliams Arroyo in his last fight, he King Martinez he lives his last months at 112 pounds. It would only remain there to unify. Although a rematch with the Puerto Rican is possible, his objective is really to face the champions.
If those plans don’t materialize, King Martinez he will have to go super fly, now without sacrificing so much for weight. He would arrive as a serious contender to face rivals like Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada, Román “Chocolatito” González, Srisaket Sr. Rungvisai or Carlos Cuadras.
6. Pitbull Cruz and Alacrán Berchelt, to take the light ones by storm
One of the most attractive divisions in boxing today is the lightweight division with names like the champions. Devin haney, of CMB; George Kambosos, undisputed monarch; Y Gervonta davis, regular champion of the AMB. In addition, in that category they also militate Ryan Garcia Y Vasyl Lomachenko. Y
It is in this category, where two Mexicans seek to generate an immediate impact: Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz Y Miguel “Alacrán” Berchelt.
After the demonstration before Gervonta davis and despite the defeat, Pitbull cross The doors were opened to him and there seems to have been a great new opportunity. There is nothing confirmed yet, a fight of the Pitbull with Ryan Garcia is cooking.
For his part, Scorpion berchelt, with a new coach in Jorge Capetillo, will fight from this 2022, already in light weight. Almost a year after losing the super featherweight title with Oscar Valdez, the Scorpion He seeks to revive his career and will arrive determined to do everything to return to the elite of boxing.
7. Julio César Chávez Jr, the influencers’ war with Jake Paul
The son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez It is quite a mystery. Although it seems finished for competitive boxing, your star could still be valid for celebrity or exhibition boxing.
By 2022 of Junior a possibility looms that could become the best-selling boxing match of the year, for both competitive boxing and celebrity boxing. And that fight is against the youtuber Jake paul.
Of start, Chavez Jr He ruled out the fight, saying he preferred to face professionals. But a week later, he said he was already in talks. He revealed that they were offering him between $ 1 million and $ 3 million, plus Pay Per Event, but he wants an even percentage.
If you get a good offer the Junior He will rise to 190 pounds to collide with that celebrity, forced to triumph or his career would be over, since he himself said that if he lost, he would retire from boxing.
A) Yes Chavez Jr He could star in the best-selling fight in Mexican boxing in 2022.
8. Jaime Munguía, to unlock the middleweight division
The middleweight division has entered a slumber, where their champions seem to be on the rampage. That has made the raid of Jaime Munguía at 160 pounds I was slower than expected. But Munguía demonstrated before Gabriel Rosado that he is already to dispute a title, although before he will have that expected lawsuit he will have one or two fights.
The first would be in February with D’Mitrius Ballard, an undefeated American who shouldn’t be a problem for Munguía. And then there would be a final tie with Carlos Adames, who on December 5 surprised Sergiy Derevyanchenko and he could be a very complicated rival for the Tijuana native. The winner of that tie would earn the right to be the mandatory challenger of the champion of the CMB, Jermall charlo.
Munguía he would be ready to fight for his second professional title, after reigning in super welterweight. If the fight with Jermall Charlo does not take place, Munguía has said that he wants to go against Gennady Golovkin.
9. Andy Ruiz, to show that it was not a flash in the pan
The name of Andy ruiz ended 2021 sounding loud to face the heavyweight champion of the CMB, Tyson fury.
The first Mexican to be crowned heavyweight world champion entered a career lethargy, after losing his rematch against Anthony Joshua in December 2019, where he lost his titles. Since then, he has only fought once, where he won with some problems to Chris arreola, in a fight where he wanted to shake off the rust.
Andy joined the gym of Eddy reynoso, where he began a transformation of his physique, and of his discipline. Despite his inactivity in the ring, he has remained working hard in the gym, and rehabbing from knee surgery.
2022 is the year where Andy ruiz must show Mexican boxing that it was not a flower of a day, nor a stroke of luck to have defeated Anthony Joshua. He’ll be looking for big fights, and maybe, a world title shot.