2021 was a wild year in the boxing ring with some shocking upsets and iconic moments that will live forever in the sport’s lore. 2022 is shaping up to provide more of the same.
Two world title bouts will round out the January schedule with Joe Smith Jr. defending the WBO light heavyweight title against Callum Johnson on Jan. 15 and Gary Russell Jr. putting his WBC featherweight title up for grabs against Mark Magsayo on Jan. 22. February has a loaded first weekend as well, headlined by a great bit of matchmaking as Keith Thurman takes on Mario Barrios.
That’s a solid start to the year, but things will continue picking up with some fights that are all but guaranteed to happen. Among those is the rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua for three of the four recognized heavyweight world championships. Usyk dominated Joshua this past September to win the WBA, IBF and WBO titles. There is not yet a set date for the rematch but both sides are targeting April.
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Other unified and undisputed champions will also be in action in 2022. Undisputed junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor is set to defend his belts on Feb. 26 against Jack Catterall. Also, at some point in the year, unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. will defend the belts he won in a shocking November upset of Teofimo Lopez. Kambosos’ opponent and next date are not set but the options are seemingly endless for Kambosos.
Below is a running list of boxing main events for 2022.
Note: This will be updated constantly with changes and additions.
|Jan. 15||Verona, New York||Joe Smith Jr. (c) vs. Callum Johnson||WBO light heavyweight title||ESPN
|Jan. 22||Atlantic City, New Jersey||Gary Russell Jr. (c) vs. Mark Magsayo||WBC featherweight title||Showtime|
|Feb. 5||Fresno, California||Jose Ramirez vs. Jose Pedraza||Junior welterweights||ESPN+|
|Feb. 5||Las Vegas||Keith Thurman vs. Mario Barrios||Welterweights||Fox PPV|
|Feb. 5||Las Vegas||Jessie Vargas vs. Liam Smith||Junior middleweights||DAZN|
|Feb. 26||Glasgow, Scotland||Josh Taylor (c) vs. Jack Catterall||Undisputed junior welterweight titles||ESPN+|
|Feb. 26||Houston||Jermell Charlo (c) vs. Brian Castano (c)||Junior middleweight unification||Showtime|