Boxing Schedule: Upcoming heavyweight fights

There is little hope of seeingĀ  Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua any time soon, but the heavyweight division still has the potential to add lustre to a fascinating boxing schedule in 2022.

The British world champions had been due to meet in Saudi Arabia last August with potentially an immediate rematch in November or December. But then Wilder won an arbitration ruling to force Fury to accept their trilogy match after all.

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There are plenty of other great upcoming fights to look forward on a Friday or Saturday night – here is the heavyweight schedule as it stands.

Upcoming boxing fights: Heavyweights

Here is how the heavyweight division currently looks from a scheduling perspective – including every major heavyweight fight. As you can see none of the top names have bouts scheduled now – we’ll update this page as soon as they do:

Zhilei Zhang (23-0-1) vs Scott Alexander (16-4-2)

Date: Saturday May 7, 2022
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: DAZN PPV (United States), DAZN (UK)
Odds:

It feels like that IBF final eliminator Filip Hrgovic has been chasing for years will never happen. The Croatian star has been forced to pull out of Saturday’s showdown with Zhilei Zhang on the Canelo vs Bivol undercard. To be fair, Matchroom have done a terrific job getting any sort of opponent in such a short space of time – Alexander is serviceable and at least we have a fight. Will be interesting to see what Zhang’s conditioning is like – remember how he fell apart vs Jerry Forrest?

Tony Yoka (11-0) vs Martin Bakole (17-1)

Date: Saturday May 14, 2022
Venue: Paris, France
TV: ESPN+ (United States)
Odds:

At last, another heavyweight bout to add to the schedule as Yoka vs Bakole gets another slot on the calendar after COVID scuppered their January date. The unbeaten 2016 Olympic Champion Yoka has shown flashes of real quality so far in the paid ranks, and this is an intriguing step-up for him. Bakole will be no pushover and this is one we are very much looking forward to.

Trevor Bryan (22-0) vs Daniel Dubois (17-1)

Date: Saturday June 11, 2022
Venue: tbc
TV: tbc
Odds:

Don King won the purse bids to stage this one for the WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight title (not the main WBA title, which is held of course by Oleksandr Usyk). The potential venues are listed as London, South Florida and New York but whatever the site, Dubois will be expected to win and hand Bryan a first pro defeat to take a step closer to world title recognition.

NB: You can get the latest boxing TV schedules for the major broadcasters by checking out our guides for:

Boxing Schedule: Heavyweight fighters without a confirmed next fight date

Anthony Joshua (24-2): AJ lost his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles for a second time in September when Usyk completely outboxed and outfought him in a fascinating scrap at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Now the pair are set for a rematch – with AJ potentially having a new-look corner. Can he become a three-time heavyweight champion?

Oleksandr Usyk (19-0): The brilliant Ukrainian proved once and for all that he can truly hang in boxing’s marquee weight class when he defeated Joshua in his own back yard to become a world heavyweight champion. The former cruiserweight king is now set to rematch AJ later this year.

Deontay Wilder (42-2-1): Wilder may have lost to Fury for a second time in October, but he came away from that with his reputation very much enhanced. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ again had ‘The Gypsy King’ on the floor twice but could not close the show. He then showed admirable guts and cojones to hang in with a dominant Fury until Round 11. There are still a ton of top fights out there for Deontay – if he wants them.

Andy Ruiz Jr (34-2): Ruiz – some 27lbs lighter than he was for that miserable rematch showing against Anthony Joshua – returned in early May from a 17-month absence to face Cali warhorse Chris Arreola. Andy was down in the second and in trouble in the third before fighting back to take a comfortable decision. He still has questions to answer, but the high motor and fast hands are very much still there. We’d love to see potential showdowns with Wilder, Whyte or Luis Ortiz.

Joe Joyce (13-0): ‘The Juggernaut’ is now knocking hard on the door at the top end of the heavyweight division after enhancing his reputation during the pandemic – notably by bursting the bubble of Daniel Dubois and then stopping French warhorse Takam in July. A nightmare matchup for anybody – granite chin, come-forward style, heavy hands and endless stamina. A showdown with New Zealand’s former world champ Joseph Parker could be next.

Luis Ortiz (33-2): The talented Ortiz did not fight at all in 2021, and turns 43 early in 2022. He needs to stay busy, and started the year with a stoppage win over Charles Martin. A threat to the best, at least for now.

Michael Hunter (20-1-2): An easy demolition of the overmatched Mike Wilson at MSG in August told us little we didn’t already know, but a disappointing draw with Jerry Forrest in NYC in December was a big blow to his heavyweight career progression.

Frank Sanchez (20-0): ‘The Cuban Flash’ started 2021 on New Year’s Day with an easy unanimous decision over Christian Hammer. A really talented operator who has terrific technical skills and underrated speed.

Robert Helenius (31-3): The tough Finn is right back in the heavyweight mix after showing his previous win over Adam Kownacki was no fluke by easily prevailing in their Vegas rematch on the Fury vs Wilder 3 undercard. We await his next move with interest.

Adam Kownacki (20-2): In early 2020 the then unbeaten Kownacki was one of the bright young things of the heavyweight division. Back-t0-back stoppage losses to Helenius though mean his career at the top level is in some doubt right now.

Efe Ajagba (15-1): The big-punching Nigerian looked completely befuddled by the speed and technical skills of Sanchez when their match of two unbeaten prospects went down on the Fury vs Wilder 3 undercard. Now he must rebuild and work on the problems that left him unable to pull the trigger against ‘The Cuban Flash’.

Otto Wallin (22-1): The Swede is now waiting to find out what comes next after his showdown with Whyte was cancelled at the 11th hour. He’s a dangerous man just outside the very top level of the division – having given Fury all he could handle in their Vegas showdown in 2019.

Kubrat Pulev (28-2): At the age of 39, appears to be done at world-title level after a crushing ninth-round knockout at the hands of Joshua in London in December. The road back to those rarified levels may be too long for the tough Bulgarian.

Junior Fa (19-1): Lost his unbeaten record but enhanced his reputation in a points defeat by Joseph Parker in Auckland in February. Showed really savvy and ringcraft in that defeat, and frustrated the heavy favourite Parker for long periods. Future appears to be bright after proving his ability to mix it at a higher level.

Oscar Rivas (27-1): Returned from a long absence to dispose of the overmatched Sylvera Louis. Appears to be out of the heavyweight picture for now though with a challenge for the new WBC Bridgerweight title against Bryant Jennings slated for June 19.

Dominic Breazeale (20-3): Recent defeat by Wallin was his first that did not come in a world-title fight. Exposed at the highest level previously by Joshua and Wilder. Difficult to see him again reaching those heights.

Daniel Dubois (16-1): Returned from a seven-month absence after that shock defeat by Joyce to knockout Romanian Bogdan Dinu inside two rounds. As well as giving Dubois the WBA interim heavyweight title, the win will have been a real confidence booster as he charts a path towards a world title shot after recovering from a horrific eye injury sustained against Joyce.

Agit Kabayel (21-0): The unbeaten German stayed perfect with a comfortable unanimous decision against the tough Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson in Magdeburg in June. He was always on top and showed a good engine and lovely combinations, but didn’t have the artillery to really test the granite chin of Johnson.

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