The year 2023 has seen some of boxing’s biggest fights finally take place. Oftentimes, fight fans have to deal with their most desired clashes not taking place due to a variety of reasons. In 2023, however, many of boxing’s biggest names have entered the ring to take on their rivals in high profile matchups. As we enter the final quarter of the year, Big Fight Weekend counts down the ten biggest clashes of 2023 so far. The list takes viewership numbers, live gate, and titles into consideration.
The biggest fights of 2023 so far
10. Jaime Munguía vs. Sergey Derevyanchenko
In an absolute slugfest from start to finish, Munguía had to dig deep to overcome Derevyanchenko. Both men started swinging from the very first round and would not stop. With Munguía needing to finish the last two rounds strongly in order to win, he stunned Derevyanchenko in the eleventh and dropped him in the twelfth to claim a close unanimous decision.
9. Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Joe Cordina
Cordina headlined another event in Wales and once again won the IBF super featherweight title. After dropping Rakhimov in the second round and cutting him in the sixth, Cordina went on to win by split decision. With the victory, he became a two-time world champion after being stripped of his title due to a failure to make a mandatory defense in time. This was due to an injury that kept him out of the ring for some time. After recovering, he went straight for a title shot and successfully reclaimed what he had lost.
8. Amanda Serrano vs. Erika Cruz
In a bout for the undisputed featherweight championship, Serrano and Cruz put their titles at stake in a slugfest. The fight headlined a card at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden. Blood was pouring everywhere in this war of attrition. Serrano came out on top with a unanimous decision victory and became undisputed for the first time in her career.
7. David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant
Yet another fight that many had long been clamouring for. Although both have previously held world titles at 168, there were no belts on the line when these two met in March (unless you count interim titles). Benavidez overwhelmed Plant over 12 rounds to claim a unanimous decision victory and settle their rivalry once and for all.
6. Chantelle Cameron vs. Katie Taylor
In a bout for Cameron’s undisputed status at super lightweight, Taylor fought in her native Ireland as a professional for the first time in her career. Much was said about Taylor fighting in Ireland and potentially becoming undisputed in a second weight class. However, it was Cameron who emerged victorious with a majority decision win over Taylor.
5. Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez vs. John Ryder
In a defense of his super middleweight titles, Canelo fought in México for the first time in over a decade. After dropping Ryder in round five, Canelo cruised to unanimous decision win. Around 50,000 were in attendance to watch Canelo’s return to México and pick up his second consecutive win following his loss to Dmitry Bivol.
4. Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue
Many were waiting for Inoue to become undisputed at bantamweight as they believed that he would finally move up in weight and eventually face Fulton. After stopping Paul Butler in 11 rounds, Inoue moved up to super bantamweight to challenge for Fulton’s titles. While many expected a close clash between two talented fighters, Inoue instead dominated from start to finish to brutally stop Fulton in the eighth round.
3. Devin Haney vs. Vasyl Lomachenko
A fight pitting two of the best lightweights in the world for undisputed status, the bout itself did not disappoint. Both boxers were at their best and had viewers at the edge of their seats in an engrossing clash. In the end, Haney successfully defended his titles via unanimous decision. The judges scorecards kept fans talking about the fight weeks after it took place. Regardless of who you saw winning, the bout itself was an intriguing one that finally came to fruition.
2. Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia
Although no titles were at stake, this bout represented a clash between two of the most popular boxers in the world. After dropping Garcia in round two, Davis landed a body shot that ended the fight in the seventh. The popularity of both men is reflected in the viewership numbers and live gate. At least 1.2 million PPV units were sold on Showtime alone and the fight had a live gate of $22.8 million.
1. Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford
This was a clash that many had been asking for over the past five years. It is what we also consider to be the most significant fight of 2023 so far. Going into fight night, many saw both fighters as among the top five best boxers in the world. When it finally happened on July 29, Crawford wound up dominating nearly every minute of the clash to become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. The fight sold at least 650,000 pay-per-views (PPV) domestically. According to Sports Business Journal, the bout drew a gate of over $21 million.