By Paul Magno | August 01, 2022

This particular summer has not exactly been sizzling with boxing action, but the remainder of the season promises to answer some big boxing questions. So, without too much time wasted on a lead-in, here are 8 boxing questions that will be answered after this summer’s slate of fights.

What’s up with Vergil Ortiz Jr.?

Ortiz’s opponent, Michael McKinson, is probably going to get steamrolled on August 6. If everything plays out as it should, Ortiz-McKinson will be a total mismatch. But the 24-year-old Ortiz, who was previously active, dominant, and increasingly accomplished, has been out of the ring for a year and has been the object of rumors questioning his ability to make the welterweight limit and, indirectly, his contentment with his current career path. How well he performs in this fight will give a glimpse into where his head’s at. 

Maurice Hooker and Blair Cobbs: Done and Done?

Hooker-Cobbs is an interesting little undercard fight underneath Ortiz-McKinson. It should not only be stylistically compelling, but it’ll give both guys a chance to make a case for their main stage viability after tough losses. Former 140 lb. world champ Hooker was stopped in his last fight by Vergil Ortiz Jr. in March of 2021 and, 20 months before that, by Jose Ramirez in a junior welterweight title unification bout. Cobbs, meanwhile, was also beaten in his last bout, stopped in 9 by Alexis Rocha this past March. 

Teofimo Lopez, The Bounceback? 

Forget about The Takeover, the question when it comes to the 25-year-old Lopez centers around “The Bounceback.” The young man did not take his first career loss—to George Kambosos last November-- well at all. Actually, to be honest, he behaved like he had a few screws lose and was on the verge of a mental breakdown. Even prior to the loss, he seemed more than a bit “off” and was also dealing with some major health problems. It has now become clear that he was well below 100% when he entered the ring against Kambosos and was suffering from some major COVID-related health issues. Lopez’s opponent on August 13, Pedro Campa, is pretty pedestrian and shouldn’t be too much of a challenge, but Lopez has been giving off the vibe of someone whose proverbial wheels are about to fall off the cart… 

Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua?

If Oleksandr Usyk beats Anthony Joshua again when they meet on August 20, the AJ show is official over and done with and Usyk gets to move forward, making his own legacy as 3-belt heavyweight champ. And if Tyson Fury remains hobbled by indifference and his ties to alleged Irish cartel leader Daniel Kinahan, Usyk will become THE man at heavyweight. Joshua needs to show some fire, hustle, and adaptability in this upcoming rematch or he’s done. 

Adrien Broner, Omar Figueroa Jr.: Who Earns One More Chance?

Talk about a showdown at the Last Chance Saloon. Broner is talented and not the least bit earnest in his prizefighter efforts while Figueroa is nowhere near as talented as Broner, but infinitely more earnest in his boxing efforts. Former world lightweight champ Figueroa has already been written off by most. And this HAS to be the last chance for former four-division world champ Broner, who hasn’t looked even remotely close to being a fully-actualized fighter in close to a decade now. One of these guys will walk away from their August 20 bout with the faintest glimmer of a main stage hope, the other will just go away. 

Andy Ruiz or Luis Ortiz: Who’s Fit for One More Run?

There’s a case to be made that Ruiz vs. Ortiz on September 4 is a battle of Top 5 heavyweights. There should be zero debate, however, that it’s a battle of legit Top 10 heavyweights. There are a number of questions that come with this one. Can Andy Ruiz come into this fight in shape and focused? Can he prove himself motivated enough to make another serious run at a world title? For Luis Ortiz, the questions revolve around his age and whether he’s sturdy enough to make a serious run at a world title. Who wins this fight and how they win it will help answer all questions. 

Gennadiy Golovkin, Measured and Legitimized

Saul Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin part three on September 17 is, technically, the last big fight of the summer and how it plays out will tell us a lot about the futures of both fighters. For Golovkin, for example, the big Canelo showdown will tell us what he has left at 40 years of age and whether he has career left beyond the Alvarez rivalry. It will also be a bit of a test of career legitimacy. How good WAS Gennadiy Golovkin, really, when stacked up against his highest profile contemporary?

Saul Alvarez: Great or Very Good?

Although his accomplishments are hefty, “Canelo” Alvarez is still judged, to a great degree, on his inability to cleanly and clearly beat Gennadiy Golovkin in their two previous encounters. This upcoming final chapter in the Canelo-GGG beef will give the Mexican superstar a chance to provide closure to the rivalry and settle any questions over just how far ahead of the pack he is/was.

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