Paddy Martin looks back at 2021 and tries to piece together the good, throwaway the bad and provide his hopeful blueprint for a happy pugilistic 2022

Hi 2022! How are you? I hope you’re not a c*nt like your elder brothers 2020 and 2021.

We’re into a new year, which means new fights! Although the UK is on a "circuit breaker" with no January boxing, so off to a slow start- here is what I want to see in 2022.

An Undisputed Heavyweight Champion

Come on now, we’ve been calling for this since AJ first unified the WBA IBF and WBO straps. All he needed to do was fight Wilder and we would have had our first undisputed Heavyweight Champion in the 4 belt era. But politics, promoters, money and probably even more mean we still haven’t had the fight to crown the true king in the heavyweight division. I know that if AJ and Wilder had fought in 2018/2019 Tyson Fury and the lineal title would have caused issue as to who the absolute best was. As we’ve seen though, Tyson Fury is happy to fight anyone and if The Bronze Bomber had won the mythological fight between him and AJ, Fury and Wilder have most likely have shared a ring.

You can't rewrite the past but we would have seen a true undisputed champ. Maybe this is all pointless at this point, but I think it would have been an easier route to undisputed. I’m going off on a tangent.

Fury – go fight Whyte, Usyk – rematch AJ. Then PLEASE, whoever wins those two fights, fight by the end of 2022 for the Undisputed Title.

Fuck Off the YouTubers

Now, I was in two minds about this, if Jake Paul wants to be a boxer, that’s fine. And if he’s genuinely trying to promote fighters and give them decent purses and is doing this off selling his fights the way he does – that’s actually not a bad thing. But he isn’t the only one. We have his brother Logan having a trilogy bout with KSI soon, Eddie Hall is supposed to be fighting Hafthor Bjornsson and then there’s all the crap we had last year with Holyfield getting back in the ring. David Haye going on a stroll with his mate for a few rounds and then calling out Fury was laughable and see through. Lets leave the bullshit fights in 2021. Jake Paul is in a grey area for me, but if you pushed me for an answer, I’d still rather he fucked off and left our sport alone

Boxers to Fight Their Way to a Big Pay Day Rather Than Tweeting to Get It

The power of social media has helped boxers get in touch with the punters, and I know it helps them promote themselves. Aren’t we all getting tired of boxers who haven’t done enough in the ring try and talk themselves into big fights via social media? He isn’t the only fighter to have done so, but “Boo Boo” Demetrius Andrade is the first boxer who springs to mind when I think of this. Since he won the vacant WBO Middleweight world title (not his fault he fought for a vacant belt though) he’s not fought anyone of note.

Adrade is now into his fourth calendar year as a World Champion and is best known for gate crashing Canelo’s press conference and being sung to by the P4P great “chu wanna payday”. Boo Boo is chasing a champion in a division higher than him saying he’s running from the challenge – Demetrius, are you running from Murata, Charlo and Golovkin? It smells like he wants a risk-free fight, in that he won't be judged too harshly for losing, against Canelo where he can sulk back to Middleweight and still be seen a “World Champion” when he inevitably gets beat.

This issue doesn’t stop at world level either. Over here in Blightly Zach Parker has been talking about fighting Canelo because of his lofty ranking with the WBO and IBF. But Parker didn’t defend his British title and tried to run to a World Title fight. The name Parker should be calling out (now) is the new IBO World Champion Lerrone Richards. Yeah it’s the IBO world title but when Canelo has all the others wrapped up and Lerrone is a Champion who will fight, why not have the “Battle of Britain” rather than keep fighting to pad out your record until the cash cow looks in your direction?

Bring Back Small Hall!

Now this is no one’s fault. And yes, some shows did get back up and running last year. But I remember a time when you could choose a different promoter each weekend and go and watch some boxing. Some promoters haven’t put on a show since the outbreak of the pandemic and others have put on shows sporadically. I’m hoping that 2022 brings back the bubbling small hall scene. It’s been too long since I’ve been to York Hall for the boxing. I wanna go back!

The Best Fighting the Best

This goes for all of boxing, but specifically the lightweights. They all talk about being the best, well, fight each other and find out! In such a rich division boasting Kambosos, Lopez, Lomachenko, Garcia, Haney, Davis and more, how they’re not fighting on another is a shame (I know Loma/ Lopez/ Kambosos have fought, but Loma will fight anyone and Lopez had to fight Kambosos). Tank goes on about being the smaller version of Canelo but he isn’t putting himself into legacy defining fights like Canelo has. All of them have the talent to be great, so please in 2022, go cement your greatness and legacy!

What would be on your wishlist for 2022? Follow us on Twitter: @Southpaw_Jab and join the debate!


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