Boxing Rivalries That Are Making the World Talk Right Now
Despite competition from MMA, boxing is still a popular sport with fans across the world. This popularity is especially fervent in the case of top fighters and their intense rivalries. When fighters have ongoing battles that last across several fights, the aura around the events is supercharged. Keep reading to take a look at two of the current boxing rivalries, plus one potential rivalry that is yet to be fulfilled. We will show you the history between the fighters involved and look at how the results of classic meetings matched with the odds from sportsbooks beforehand.
Most Talked About Boxing Rivalries
🤼♂️ Combate del Año 2022 por la WBC
— Luis Rodríguez (@luissrodriiguez) January 16, 2023
Boxing Rivalries: Roman Gonzalez vs Naoya Inoue
The first of three rivalries unveiled in this article is yet to materialise, Roman Gonzalez versus Naoya Inoue. Rumours suggest that the bout may happen later this year. This outcome is far from certain, but boxing fans will be hoping it comes about. These are two top fighters, with Gonzalez having a record of 51 wins, four losses, and 0 draws and Inoue having a record of 24 wins and 0 draws. Statistically, Inoue would seem to have a power advantage over Gonzalez, with the fighters’ knockout percentages being 88% and 80%, respectively. However, if a match-up does happen, the odds are certain to be fairly even. Another certainty is that sportsbooks will see plenty of action, with sports fans keen to be part of the action. This potential rivalry may not be the priority for Gonzalez as he may have unfinished business with Juan Francisco Estrada, which brings us to the next rivalry.
Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Roman Gonzalez
This is not just a potential rivalry, it’s well underway. The two fighters have now met three times, and according to insights from the gambling researchers at JustGamblers, they have yet to be separated. One of the researchers told us: “The latest outing for Estrada and Gonzalez ended in a narrow majority decision victory for Estrada, but that is only the latest instalment in a longer story of rivalry. In their first meeting in 2012, Gonzalez won by a unanimous decision. This result was followed by a rematch in 2021 which Estrada won by a controversial split decision. Regarding the last meeting, the pre-bout odds suggested that Estrada was the favourite at +175, with Gonzalez at -225. So, the odds turned out to be correct.”
It remains to be seen what the odds will be should the fighters meet again as there is still little to separate them. There is also a possibility that Estrada and Gonzalez will choose other options for their next opponents. Chief among these possibilities is likely to be the victor of the next fight between the third set of rivals we will look at.
Joshua Franco and Kazuto Ioka
The next meeting between these two top fighters is scheduled to happen in June this year in Japan. Their first meeting on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo, ended in a draw, so both fighters have plenty to prove. Franco’s WBA junior bantamweight title will again be on the line when he fights Ioka. However, the Japanese fighter has relinquished his WBO title after failing to agree on a mandatory bout with Junto Nakatani. Prior to their previous fight, the betting favoured Franco at +135, with Ioka at -170. Given the lack of a definitive outcome last time out, it will be interesting to see how this affects the odds this time. It will also be interesting to see if the winner does go on to meet either Estrada or Gonzalez in a future fight, possibly creating another enticing boxing rivalry.