Celebrity boxing matches have taken on a life of their own over the past few years as social media influencers, hip hop artists, former athletes, YouTube sensations, and even politicians get involved in the action. In fact, some of those fights are being considered professional bouts.
We most recently saw Jake Paul square up against one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time, Anderson Silva – again, avoiding a fight against an actual boxer. The fight took place at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona on October 29th and was quite an interesting fight.
Both fighters went the distance, but it was a knockdown by Paul in the eighth round that secured his victory, bringing his professional record to 6-0-0 (4 KOs). After the fight, Paul announced his intent to fight Canelo Alvarez, but is open to fighting whoever, whenever, and wherever.
Greatest Celebrity Boxing Matches in Recent History
Judges went on to score the fight 77-74, 78-73, and 78-73 – all in favor of Jake Paul, giving him the win via unanimous decision. There were four other fights on the undercard – two of which featured TKOs and another fight that featured famous athletes Uriah Hall and Le’Veon Bell.
Bell, a former NFL star running back, was making his professional boxing debut after knocking out fellow NFL running back Adrian Peterson in an exhibition match a few weeks prior. Hall, a retired MMA fighter, won by unanimous decision and went on to call out Paul for his next fight.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen high-profile celebrities from all walks of life take to the ring – some as professionals, some as amateurs, some as an exhibition, and some for charity. It doesn’t always make for the best fight, but it’s entertaining to see them out of their element.
20. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson vs. Eddie Hall
On March 19, 2022, two former ‘World’s Strongest Man’ champions – Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson and Eddie Hall – took to the boxing ring in what became known as ‘The Heaviest Boxing Match in History.’ It was originally scheduled for September 2021, but was delayed due to an injury.
Hall – who was making his debut inside the boxing ring – came in at 6-foot-2 and 313 pounds, while Björnsson – who was entering his fourth boxing match –came in at 6-foot-9 and 335 pounds. Björnsson would go on to win by unanimous decision, winning five of the six rounds.
19. Vanilla Ice vs. Todd Bridges
In March of 2002, two washed up celebrities – Vanilla Ice and Todd Bridges – took to the boxing ring. It was clear from the start they had no idea what they were doing, which made the fight that much more enjoyable. Bridges would end up winning due to his aggressive attitude.
Vanilla Ice, also known as Rob Van Winkle, was 32 years old at the time – he was 6-foot-0, 183 pounds, and had a 76” reach. Bridges was 36 years old at the time – he was 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, and had a 74” reach. You can tell they were out there to collect a check and that’s it.
18. Swaggy P vs. Minikon
On September 10, 2022, former NBA player Swaggy P (Nick Young) and influencer Malcolm Minikon squared up in what was one of the most awkward boxing matches you’ll ever see. Swaggy P was winning through three rounds, but things got a little weird in the fourth round.
After the two were separated out of a break, Minikon charged forward and clashed with Young – causing Young to fall through the ropes and outside the ring. He appeared to be injured and didn’t want to continue, so it was a no contest. The ref alleged it was a head-to-head collision.
17. Idris Elba vs. Lionel Graves
On August 28, 2016, famous actor Idris Elba fought Lionel Graves in what was his first professional kickboxing match – not exactly boxing, but close enough. While most actors would get pummeled in a pro kickboxing match, Elba has the body for it and is an athletic freak.
Elba ended up winning the bout by way of knockout – despite his corner growing worried about his performance throughout the fight. Nonetheless, he hung in there and turned in quite an impressive kick to the body – sending his opponent to the floor. It was a good fight both ways.
16. Chad Johnson vs Brian Maxwell
On June 6, 2021, former NFL superstar wide receiver Chad Johnson entered the boxing ring for the first time in his career. He was matched up against Brian Maxwell, a track and field athlete. The two were part of the much-anticipated Logan Paul-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight card.
Johnson performed well early in the fight, using his elusive footwork to land a few big punches in the first few rounds. Unfortunately, he was hit with a powerful right hand shot in the fourth round, sending him to the ground. Since it was an exhibition bout, no winner was declared.
15. Ricky Gervais vs. Grant Bovey
In 2002, English comedian and actor Ricky Gervais made his first and only appearance inside a boxing ring during a celebrity boxing match televised on BBC. He ended up winning the bout against British television personality Grant Bovey, earning money for a charity of his choice.
While the two had absolutely no skill in boxing and had no idea what they were doing, they gave it their all and put in more effort than most celebrities in the ring. Still, it drew quite a bit of criticism when professional boxers found out the fight was unlicensed – which is dangerous.
14. Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson
On November 28, 2020, internet sensation Jake Paul squared up against former NBA player Nate Robinson – it was Paul’s third fight after knockouts against AnEsonGib and Deji. It was the co-main event of the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. fight card, which was available on pay-per-view.
Paul dominated the fight, knocking Robinson down three times before finishing him in the second round – his third knockout in as many fights. Paul’s skill was well above what Robinson could match, leaving many to wonder when Paul would fight someone with boxing experience.
13. Lamar Odom vs Aaron Carter
On June 11, 2021, two unlikely opponents in former NBA player Lamar Odom and artist Aaron Carter – it wasn’t a fair fight, but both were eager to cash in a check. Odom ended up having a 10’ height advantage, 11’ reach advantage, and 64-pound weight advantage over Carter.
Taking place at Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Odom managed to knock Carter down twice early in the fight – eventually finishing him with a knockout in the second round. There wasn’t much Carter could do, but he got what he wanted in the end – a decent check.
12. Dave Mirra vs. Brian Deegan
On September 17, 2011, pro BMX Legend Dave Mirra matched up with professional freestyle motocross rider Brian Deegan for a title match fight at EllisMania in Las Vegas. It was an intense battle for three rounds and was so close they had to fight a fourth sudden death round.
It was Deegan that came up with the victory over Mirra when it went to a decision. Many people that watched the fight agree it could’ve gone either way, as both fighters were ‘beating the s**t out of each other,’ as Mirra described it on Facebook. It’s definitely worth a watch, trust me!
11. Frank Gore vs. Deron Williams
On December 18, 2021, former NFL star running back Frank Gore entered the boxing ring for a bout vs. former NBA star point guard Deron Williams. Many people expected it to be an entertaining fight leading up to the event and while it was just an exhibition, it was exciting.
Judges scored the fight 38-37, 37-38, 40-35 in favor of Williams, but you could’ve made a case for Gore. It was part of the undercard for the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley fight at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. All in all, Williams finished with 48 landed punches to Gore’s 39 punches.
10. Manute Bol vs. William Perry
On May 22, 2002, former NBA big man Manute Bol went head-to-head with former NFL defensive tackle William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry. It was a battle between height and weight, with Manute Bol standing a whopping 7-foot-7 and William Perry weighing a whopping 335 pounds.
Bol ended up winning the belt as height prevailed over weight – though it was more his reach that gave him the advantage. The only thing Perry could do was wrap up his opponent, but it never led to anything threatening and Bol eventually pushed him off and into a fighting stance.
9. Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren
On April 17, 2021, internet sensation Jake Paul fought a bout against former UFC fighter Ben Askren – Paul was fresh off his third knockout in as many boxing fights. It all went down at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia – selling 500,000 pay-per-views in the process.
It didn’t last long, either. After dominating the start of the first round, Paul finished Askren with a monster right hand that put him to sleep. Unfortunately, many people were still waiting for Paul to fight someone in fighting shape – Askren looked like a retired fighter who was out of shape.
8. Mitt Romney vs. Evander Holyfield
On May 15, 2015, former Presidential candidate and current U.S. Senator Mitt Romney entered the boxing ring for a charity bouth against boxing legend Evander Holyfield – who infamously had part of his ear bitten off by Mike Tyson in 1997. It was embarrassing, yet entertaining.
Romney was trying to punch Holyfield, but his punches were weak and missing the mark. On the other end, Holyfield was clearly trying to not embarrass or hit Romney. To make matters worse, Romney was literally smiling and laughing every single time he threw a punch.
7. Adrian Peterson vs. Le’Veon Bell
On September 10, 2022, two former star running backs – Adrian Peterson and Le’Veon Bell – entered unfamiliar territory when they squared off inside the ring. They were on a fight card with Swaggy P and Minikon, as well as Adam Saleh and several other internet/TV personalities.
The fight took place at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Peterson knocked Bell down earlier in the fight, but it was Bell’s straight right in the fifth and final round that sent Peterson to the ground. He was fairly wobbly as he got back up, resulting in the referee calling the fight.
6. Shaquille O’Neal vs. Shane Mosley
In 2009 and 2010, Shaquille O’Neal starred in his own reality show called Shaq Vs. – a show where he challenges athletes in different sports to prove that he’s the best athlete ever. During Episode 2 of Season 2, he fought an exhibition bout vs. boxing legend ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley.
All three judges went on to score the fight 48-47 in favor of ‘Sugar’ Shane, who proved that size isn’t everything. Shaquille O’Neal also fought boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya in a five-round sparring session in Season 1, Episode 4. De La Hoya won that fight via unanimous decision.
5. Muhammad Ali vs. Lyle Alzado
On July 14, 1979, one of the greatest boxers of all-time, Muhammad Ali, fought All-Pro NFL defensive end Lyle Alzado in an eight-round exhibition bout. The fight went down inside Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos. The fight garnered about 15,000 spectators.
In the buildup of the fight, Ali originally tried to play it off like it was a real fight. Over time, he switched his stance and started to note that Alzado was no match for him. While that was true, Ali ultimately agreed with Alzado’s camp that he could one day be a good boxer after the fight.
4. Logan Paul vs Floyd Mayweather Jr.
On June 6, 2021, YouTube star Logan Paul entered the boxing ring with one of the greatest boxers of all-time, Floyd Mayweather Jr. – the 50-0 undefeated man. The exhibition fight took place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL, with both fighters taking it seriously.
Some reports indicated that the fight sold more than one million pay-per-views. Since it was just an exhibition, there was no winner – but Floyd easily won. That’s not to say Paul didn’t compete and he was certainly better than Floyd originally thought, but he later admitted to holding back.
3. KSI vs. Logan Paul II
On November 9, 2019, before Logan Paul got in the ring with Mayweather, he was looking for revenge against artist and influencer KSI. The two originally fought on August 25, 2018, but the fight ended in a draw. It garnered a lot of attention and the buildup got intense real fast.
One judge scored the fight 56-55 in favor of KSI, with another scoring the fight 56-55 in favor of Logan Paul. The third judge scored the fight 57-54 in favor of KSI, giving him the split decision victory over Paul. It was a good fight that featured two competitive and determined fighters.
2. Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley II
On August 29, 2021, influencer Jake Paul finally started to up his competition with a bout against former UFC champion Tyron Woodley. Paul got the better of Woodley in an eight-round fight that went the distance – he won by split decision, but it was more lopsided than you’d think.
It was their second fight, the rematch, that has us raving, though. It went down on December 18, 2021 – just four months after their first fight – and ended in a knockout victory for Paul. There were some critics who said the knockout was set up, but we can all agree it was a real fight.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor
On August 26, 2017, UFC legend Conor McGregor stepped inside the boxing ring with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. – it was a professional fight, but it was promoted like a celebrity fight given the celebrity status of both fighters. Mayweather kept his undefeated legacy alive.
Moving to 50-0, Mayweather Jr. ended the fight by TKO in the 10th round – earning himself a nice $250+ million check. McGregor looked good for it being his debut in the boxing ring and things would’ve been much different if Mayweather challenged McGregor to a UFC bout.
Celebrity Boxing Matches We Can’t Wait to See
Celebrity boxing matches are all the rage today – sometimes even more than real boxing bouts between fighters who have dedicated their entire life to the sport. Whether you agree with it or not, these celebrity boxing matches garner a lot of attention and even more prize earnings.
If the Paul-Silva bout didn’t get your juices flowing, don’t worry – there’s more where that comes from. Not only will we have another Paul fight scheduled eventually, but we have two big fights to look forward to in the coming months – including Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Deji Olatunji.
That Mayweather-Deji fight is scheduled for November 13, 2022 in Dubai. The main card also features Tommy Fury, along with several TV personalities and professional boxers. You can expect a healthy mix of skilled boxing and laughable boxing, which makes for the perfect card.
Who Are the Current Champions in All 17 Boxing Weight Classes?
Boxing can be a little confusing to follow for any newcomer to the sport, especially considering all the different boxing weight classes and sanctioning bodies in play. All in all, there are 17 boxing weight classes and four major sanctioning bodies – a total of 68 champions between the four bodies.
The four major sanctioning bodies in boxing are the World Boxing Organization (WBO), the International Boxing Federation (IBF), the World Boxing Association (WBA), and the World Boxing Council (WBC). Each of these bodies awards their own belt, meaning the same boxer can hold all four at the same time.
In addition to the WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF, there’s a fifth belt – handed out by The Ring – that’s awarded to boxers who complete a specific list of criteria. The Ring is one of the most prestigious boxing magazines and has been awarding their belt since 1922 – longer than the WBO, WBC, and IBF belts.
The Current State of All 17 Boxing Weight Classes
Now that we understand the five different championship belts in play, let’s shift our focus to the boxing weight classes. There are 17 total (18, if including bridgerweight) – each of which have their own upper weight limit. If a boxer weighs too much during their weigh-ins, they’re immediately disqualified.
The 17 weight classes are strawweight, junior flyweight, flyweight, junior bantamweight, bantamweight, junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, cruiserweight, and heavyweight.
With all these weight classes – and five belts per weight class – keeping up with who’s champion at any given time can be a little difficult. With the 2022 boxing schedule coming to an end in two months, let’s take a look at all five current champions in each of the 17 boxing weight classes – there’s a lot to unpack!
17. Strawweight – 105 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Masataka Taniguchi
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Daniel Valladares
World Boxing Association (WBA): Knockout CP Freshmart
World Boxing Council (WBC): Petchmanee CP Freshmart
The Ring: vacant
The strawweight division, also known as the mini-flyweight division, saw four title fights in 2022 and already has two title fights scheduled for 2023. Daniel Valladares is the newest champion, defeating Rene Mark Cuarto on July 1. He has his first title defense on January 6, 2023 vs. Ginjiro Shigeoka.
Masataka Taniguchi, Knockout CP Freshmart, and Petchmanee CP Freshmart defended their title in 2022. Knockout defended his title for a 12th time, Petchmanee defended it for a third time, and Taniguchi did so for the first time. Taniguchi will fight Melvin Jerusalem on January 6 for his second title defense.
16. Junior Flyweight – 108 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Jonathan Gonzalez
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Sivenathi Nontshinga
World Boxing Association (WBA): Kenshiro Teraji
World Boxing Council (WBC): Kenshiro Teraji
The Ring: Kenshiro Teraji
The junior flyweight division, also known as the light flyweight division, is currently dominated by Kenshiro Teraji – who not only won the WBC title in March, but also secured his first WBC title defense and won the WBA and The Ring belts in November. At 20-1-0, he’s the top dog in the division, but there is resistance.
Jonathan Gonzalez, who won the WBO title in October 2021, defended his title twice in 2022 – he beat Mark Anthony Barriga in June and Shokichi Iwata in November. Sivenathi Nontshinga is the newest champion, winning the vacant IBF title in a split decision victory vs. Hector Flores in September.
15. Flyweight – 112 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): vacant
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Sunny Edwards
World Boxing Association (WBA): Artem Dalakian
World Boxing Council (WBC): Julio Cesar Martinez
The Ring: vacant
The flyweight division has been exciting to watch, with two of the champions boasting undefeated records – Sunny Edwards (18-0), and Artem Dalakian (21-0). It’d be nice to see these fighters put their record on the line for a unification bout. Artem hasn’t fought since 2021, while Edwards has a fight in December.
You also have Julio Cesar Martinez, who had his fair share of ups and downs the past few years. He won the WBC title in 2019 and defended it four times over the next two years – though his last defense ended in a NC. He lost a non-title fight in March and has his fifth defense scheduled for December 3rd.
14. Junior Bantamweight – 115 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Kazuto Ioka
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Fernando Martinez
World Boxing Association (WBA): Joshua Franco
World Boxing Council (WBC): vacant
The Ring: Juan Francisco Estrada
The junior bantamweight division, also known as the super flyweight division, is about to get extremely interesting when Kazuto Ioka (29-2) and Joshua Franco (18-1) clash for a WBO-WBA unification bout. The fight is scheduled for December 31st – New Year’s Eve – and will bring the 2022 schedule to an end.
Juan Francisco Estrada is a true top dog in the division, but he gave up the WBA title to fight one of his rivals – Estrada also had the WBC belt, which is now vacant. As for Fernando Martinez, he beat Jerwin Ancajas in February to win the IBF title and defended it in a rematch with Ancajas in October.
13. Bantamweight – 118 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Paul Butler
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Naoya Inoue
World Boxing Association (WBA): Naoya Inoue
World Boxing Council (WBC): Naoya Inoue
The Ring: Naoya Inoue
Speaking of interesting weight divisions, the bantamweight division could see Naoya Inoue become the undisputed champion as early as December 13. He currently owns the IBF, WBA, WBC, and The Ring titles, but the WBO title is currently in the hands of Paul Butler. Inoue is 23-0, while Butler is 34-2.
They’re set for a December 13, 2022 fight at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan – right in Inoue’s backyard. It won’t be long before we crown an undisputed champion. Aside from those two, the division also boasts John Riel Casimero, Jason Moloney, Nonito Donaire, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Raushee Warren.
12. Junior Featherweight – 122 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Stephen Fulton
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Murodjon Akhmadaliev
World Boxing Association (WBA): Murodjon Akhmadaliev
World Boxing Council (WBC): Stephen Fulton
The Ring: vacant
The junior featherweight division, also known as the super bantamweight division, is dominated by two men right now – Stephen Fulton (21-0) and Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0). Fulton retained the WBO and WBC belts on June 4th, while Akhmadaliev retained the WBA and IBF belts on June 25th.
Both fighters are undefeated and the entire boxing community is eagerly waiting for the two to finally clash – putting their undefeated records on the line to name an undisputed champion. Unfortunately, that fight hasn’t happened and it hasn’t been scheduled. Either way, both of them should have fights in early 2023.
11. Featherweight – 126 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Emanuel Navarrete
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Josh Warrington
World Boxing Association (WBA): Leo Santa Cruz
WBA (Regular): Leigh Wood
World Boxing Council (WBC): Rey Vargas
The Ring: vacant
The 2022 season saw two new champions crowned in the featherweight division – Josh Warrington (31-1) and Rey Vargas (36-0). Warrington won the title in March and is scheduled to defend it for the first time on December 10th. Vargas won his title in July, but is taking on a fight in a different division in 2023.
Emanuel Navarrete won the WBO title in 2020 and has already retained it three times – most recently in August 2022. Leo Santa Cruz hasn’t defended his title since 2019, but recently made a return to the division. Leigh Wood won the WBA (Regular) title in 2021 and defended it for the first time in March.
10. Junior Lightweight – 130 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): vacant
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov
World Boxing Association (WBA): Hector Luis Garcia
World Boxing Council (WBC): vacant
The Ring: vacant
The junior lightweight division, also known as the super featherweight division, currently only has two champions – Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (17-0) and Hector Luis Garcia (16-0). Rakhimov recently won the IBF title on November 5th, while Garcia won the WBA title in August – he went 2-0 in 2022.
Shakur Stevenson is the true money fight in this division, but had to vacate his WBO, WBC, and The Ring titles after missing weight for his bout against Robson Conceição on September 23. Stevenson went on to win, but he’ll have to fight again if he wants to get his titles back – though he might change divisions.
9. Lightweight – 135 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Devin Haney
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Devin Haney
World Boxing Association (WBA): Devin Haney
World Boxing Council (WBC): Devin Haney
The Ring: Devin Haney
The lightweight division belongs to one man and one man only – Devin Haney – but it’s actually loaded with top-level talent that can overtake him at any moment. His latest opponent was George Kambosos, who Haney beat twice in 2022. He became the undisputed champion in June and defended it in October.
Some of the other top contenders in the division include Gervonta Davis, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Ryan Garcia, Isaac Cruz, Joseph Diaz, and Teófimo López. Davis has held the WBA (Regular) title since 2019, which he has defended three times. It’s always interesting to see what happens next in this division.
8. Junior Welterweight – 140 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Josh Taylor
International Boxing Federation (IBF): vacant
World Boxing Association (WBA): Alberto Puello
World Boxing Council (WBC): vacant
The Ring: Josh Taylor
The junior welterweight division, also known as the light welterweight division, is dominated by Josh Taylor (19-0). He currently owns the WBO and The Ring titles, having vacated his IBF, WBC, and WBA titles earlier this year. He was the sixth male boxer to be named undisputed light-welterweight champion.
Alberto Puello (21-0) won the vacant WBA title in August, but hasn’t scheduled a title defense yet. Jose Zepeda and Regis Prograis are scheduled to fight on November 26th for the vacant WBC title. Other contenders in the division include Jack Catterall, Subriel Matías, and Arnold Barboza Jr..
7. Welterweight – 147 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Terence Crawford
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Errol Spence Jr.
World Boxing Association (WBA): Errol Spence Jr.
WBA (Regular): Eimantas Stanionis
World Boxing Council (WBC): Errol Spence Jr.
The Ring: vacant
The welterweight is one of the most exciting divisions in all of boxing. It’s currently being dominated by two of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world today – Terence Crawford (38-0) and Errol Spence Jr. (28-0). There’s no fight boxing fans want to see more than these two, but neither fighters will budge.
Nonetheless, Crawford is scheduled to defend his title for the sixth time on December 10th. Spence Jr. doesn’t have a fight scheduled, but is expected to fight Keith Thurman after talks with Crawford fell through. Yordenis Ugás, Jaron Ennis, Vergil Ortiz Jr., and David Avanesyan are also worth watching.
6. Junior Middleweight – 154 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Jermell Charlo
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Jermell Charlo
World Boxing Association (WBA): Jermell Charlo
World Boxing Council (WBC): Jermell Charlo
The Ring: Jermell Charlo
The junior middleweight division, also known as the light middleweight or super welterweight division, is currently dominated by Jermell Charlo (35-1). He’s the undisputed champion as of May 2022 after knocking out Brian Castano in their rematch – the first fight ended in a split-decision draw in 2021.
For the first time since being named undisputed champion, Charlo will put his titles on the line in a January 28, 2023 bout vs. Tim Tszyu – who will have his first opportunity at a title. Other notable boxers in the division include Sebastian Fundora, Erislandy Lara, Magomed Kurbanov, and Jarrett Hurd.
5. Middleweight – 160 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Janibek Alimkhanuly
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Gennadiy Golovkin
World Boxing Association (WBA): Gennadiy Golovkin
WBA (Regular): Erislandy Lara
World Boxing Council (WBC): Jermall Charlo
The Ring: vacant
If you love yourself a competitive division, then take a look at the middleweight division – which currently has three different champions, not including Erislandy Lara (WBA Regular). Janibek Alimkhanuly (12-0) is the newest champion, winning the WBO title in May. He’ll defend it for the first time on November 11th.
Jermall Charlo – twin brother of Jermell Charlo – has owned the WBC title since 2019 and defended it four times since. Gennadiy Golovkin owns the IBF and WBA, though he recently lost to Canelo Alvarez as a super middleweight. Other contenders in the division are Demetrius Andrade and Jaime Munguía.
4. Super Middleweight – 168 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Canelo Alvarez
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Canelo Alvarez
World Boxing Association (WBA): Canelo Alvarez
WBA (Regular): David Morrell
World Boxing Council (WBC): Canelo Alvarez
The Ring: Canelo Alvarez
The super middleweight division, also known as the light cruiserweight division, is currently dominated by one of the best boxers to ever live – Canelo Alvarez (58-2). He has been the undisputed champion since 2021 – David Benavidez (26-0) is the current WBC interim super middleweight champion, as of May.
David Morrell (8-0) won the WBA (Regular) title in 2020 and has defended it four times. With Canelo looking forward to a return in September 2023, so things could change next year – or they might stay the same. The way Canelo has dominated the division, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him retain his status.
3. Light Heavyweight – 175 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Artur Beterbiev
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Artur Beterbiev
World Boxing Association (WBA): Dmitry Bivol
World Boxing Council (WBC): Artur Beterbiev
The Ring: vacant
The light heavyweight division is largely controlled by Artur Beterbiev (18-0) – in fact, he has had a stranglehold on the division since 2017. He won the IBF title that year, the WBC title in 2019, and the WBO title most recently on June 18, 2022. He has defended the IBF title six times and WBC three times.
As for the WBA title, Dmitry Bivol (21-0) has been in possession of it since 2017 and has defended it 10 times since then. Other contenders in the division include Joe Smith Jr., Gilberto Ramírez, Callum Smith, Maxim Vlasov, and Anthony Yarde. Hopefully we see a Bivol-Beterbiev fight at some point.
2. Cruiserweight – 200 lbs.
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Lawrence Okolie
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Jai Opetaia
World Boxing Association (WBA): Arsen Goulamirian
World Boxing Council (WBC): Ilunga Makabu
The Ring: Jai Opetaia
The cruiserweight division, also known as the junior heavyweight division, saw one new champion crowned in 2022 – Jai Opetaia (22-0). He defeated Mairis Briedis in July for the first world title of his career. He also won The Ring title, as of July 2022. He’s the fighter to beat in the division right now.
With that said, there are three other champions out there with a proven record in the division. Lawrence Okolie (18-0) and Ilunga Makabu (29-2) each defended their title in 2022, while Arsen Goulamirian (26-0) is scheduled to defend his title in France on November 19, 2022. Let’s see what 2023 has in store!
1. Heavyweight – no max weight
World Boxing Organization (WBO): Oleksandr Usyk
International Boxing Federation (IBF): Oleksandr Usyk
World Boxing Association (WBA): Oleksandr Usyk
World Boxing Council (WBC): Tyson Fury
The Ring: Oleksandr Usyk
The heavyweight division is one of the most popular divisions in the boxing world. It’ss being dominated by Oleksandr Usyk (20-0), who owns the WBO, IBF, WBA, and The Ring titles. He defeated Anthony Joshua in 2021 and 2022, but everyone is waiting for him to sign a fight with Tyson Fury (32-0).
Fury currently owns the WBC title, so a fight against Usyk would be a unification bout to see who the undisputed champion is. Of course, the heavyweight division also includes several other top fighters, such as Deontay Wilder, Joe Joyce, Andy Ruiz Jr., Dillian Whyte, Luis Ortez, and Joseph Parker.
Which Boxing Weight Classes Are Your Favorite?
As you can see, there’s a lot to enjoy in the boxing community with title fights happening most weeks out of the year. You never know what you’re going to get when two boxers enter the ring and even if it doesn’t end in a knockout, fans are bound to watch a good fight and are rarely disappointed by what they see.
In fact, we have several champions defending their belt in the coming months – including Sunny Edwards on November 11, Janibek Alimkhanuly on November 12, Tyson Fury on December 3, Josh Warrington on December 10, Terence Crawford on December 10, and Naoya Inoue vs Paul Butler on December 13.
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With so much to look forward to, boxing fans will stay entertained as we close out another incredible year of boxing and enter a much-anticipated 2023 calendar. For now, we wait to see if the champions listed above can defend their title – otherwise, the boxing weight classes might look a little different next year.
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