By Paul Magno | December 26, 2022

Welcome to what may be a new Christmas Week/New Year’s Week tradition here at FightHype. And it was totally NOT born from an “Oh, shit! I totally forgot it’s Sunday because it’s Christmas Day and I gotta get something written by tomorrow” moment late Sunday afternoon.

Anyway, I’m gonna go through Box Rec’s top 25 (their pound-for-pound list-- and what a fucking odd pound-for-pound list it is!) and rattle off my own Magno-flavored 2023 wish for each fighter. Please feel free to share your own wish list in the comment section, or just share your links about how we can make money online, just like you!

Saul Alvarez: A big fight that matters. Not to disrespect rumored next opponent John Ryder, but I think the boxing world’s had enough of Canelo beating up game Brits.

Tyson Fury: For the Oleksandr Usyk unification fight to come through. It’s one of the fights boxing needs. Also, a slippery defense-- not INSIDE the ring, but OUTSIDE as he ducks and dodged career-restricting ties with alleged Irish cartel leader Daniel Kinahan.

Dmitry Bivol: An Artur Beterbiev unification would be sweet, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely. If Beterbiev is not possible, the wish is for Bivol to stay sharp and not drift back into the doldrums of a few years ago that saw him run through a string of uninspiring performances against uninspiring opposition.

Terence Crawford: Duh, an Errol Spence unification fight. Oh yeah, and for him to go back to his policy of not giving interviews. This man does NOT do himself any favors when he sits down and opens up.

Gennadiy Golovkin: For the Kazakh KO artist to, for once in his career, step out from behind the cover given to him by the fawning boxing media and face an actual challenge that isn’t Canelo Alvarez.

Oleksandr Usyk: For the Tyson Fury unification fight to come through. Also, if he’s wearing mascara, to stop wearing mascara.

Anthony Joshua: A sports psychologist.

Naoya Inoue: A Stephen Fulton fight. And if that can’t happen, a stylistically challenging opponent who will make him think, work, and use parts of his skill set he hasn’t needed to use before.

Errol Spence Jr.: Another duh, here-- a Terence Crawford unification fight. Also, a lifetime free pass to Uber. 

Shakur Stevenson: That legacy-defining lightweight fight that’s definitely out there at 135, but infinitely hard to wrangle.

Artur Beterbiev: A light heavyweight title unification with Dmitry Bivol. And, if not Bivol, another challenge who will make him work and make him think.

Andy Ruiz: A big Deontay Wilder fight and the focus to make it through at least one full year without sidesteps, back steps, and stalls. Also, for his "I don't wanna be fat anymore" t-shirts from the official Andy Ruiz clothing line to become THE style fashion statement of the year. 

Jermell Charlo: A quick repair to his broken hand so he can starch Tim Tszyu and move on to craziness versus Sebastian Fundora.

Regis Prograis: A career-defining win at junior welter and the next-level success that should be his. Plus, the return of his Rougarou gimmick. 

Josh Taylor: A clear win or loss against Jack Catterall in their rematch and than a dive back into the deep waters of 140 or a move up to the deeper waters of 147.

Stephen Fulton: Next-level attention and recognition for his skills/abilities and a career-high payday/career-defining clash with Naoya Inoue.

Yordenis Ugas: A healthy return to action. I guess. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Jaron Ennis-Ugas fight at some point in the near future.

Joe Joyce: A world title shot. Next dibs at the winner of Fury-Usyk. If not that, a Deontay Wilder bomb fest would be stellar. 

Deontay Wilder: Focus and activity. There are lots of options out there for The Bronze Bomber and all are enticing-- Ruiz, Joshua, Joyce, Usyk. The boxing world is better with Deontay in it. 

John Ryder: I don’t wanna be cruel here, but maybe a touch of vertigo that keeps him out of a Canelo Alvarez fight. Ryder is a good guy, a good fighter, and an honest, earnest battler, but he’s not a compelling B-side for Alvarez. 

Devin Haney: A true career-defining win/effort in his bout with Vasiliy Lomachenko. And, for me, a better understanding of how Haney is ranked a lowly no. 21 on Box Rec’s pound-for-pound list.

George Kambosos Jr.: Isaac Cruz vs. George Kambosos. How’s that for an intriguing battle of high second-tier/top-tier-aspiring lightweights? 

Gervonta Davis: Pint-sized Mike Tyson stardom and a stellar performance against Ryan Garcia. And, also, an understanding of why he’s ranked so low on Box Rec’s pound-for-pound list.

Chris Eubank Jr.: A return to being a relevant high-end fighter and not just Eubank Sr.’s kid...and an understanding of why Box Rec ranks him above at least two dozen more deserving fighters.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.: A world title shot at the winner of Crawford-Spence or a shot at either Crawford or Spence should the unification get cockblocked again. Also, that his battle with Eimantas Stanionis will be as entertaining as it should be.

Okay...That’s it. Don’t blame me if some of your favorites weren’t mentioned here. Box Rec has, as the kids say, a whack-ass pound-for-pound list.

Got something for Magno? Send it here:

MARCH 29, 2023
MARCH 28, 2023
MARCH 27, 2023
MARCH 26, 2023
MARCH 25, 2023
MARCH 23, 2023
MARCH 22, 2023
MARCH 20, 2023
MARCH 18, 2023
MARCH 17, 2023
MARCH 16, 2023
MARCH 14, 2023
MARCH 13, 2023
MARCH 12, 2023
MARCH 10, 2023
MARCH 09, 2023
MARCH 08, 2023
MARCH 07, 2023
MARCH 06, 2023
MARCH 04, 2023
MARCH 02, 2023