Note: I’ve kept this list to bouts that can realistically happen next year, hence why you won’t see any fights like Burnett-Tete or Kovalev-Beterbiev on this list that are likely prevented by promotional/TV differences etc.
1. Tyson Fury- Anthony Joshua
Now that Fury’s UKAD situation has finally been sorted out, he can end his two year plus layoff and this long-discussed fight can approach becoming a reality.
It’s probably a long shot for 2018, but here’s hoping.
2. Anthony Joshua-Deontay Wilder
More likely in the immediate future is AJ vs. Wilder for all of the sanctioning body marbles, arguably the most exciting fight that can be made in boxing.
3. Oleksandr Usyk-Murat Gassiev/Yunier Dorticos
As long as Usyk beats Mairis Breidis in his World Boxing Super Series semi, this fight should happen in the final to determine ultimate cruiserweight supremacy.
4. Sergey Kovalev-Dmitry Bivol
Bivol recently signed with Main Events and if Kovalev is really on the wane, perhaps a win in a fight like this could be what launches Bivol to stardom at the expense of his promotional stablemate.
5. George Groves/Chris Eubank Jr.-Callum Smith
Groves-Eubank in February is already as good as it gets in terms of matchmaking, but an expected showdown between the winner and Callum Smith in the WBSS final comes close to as mouthwatering.
6. Gennady Golovkin-Saul Alvarez II
This is a rematch that probably wouldn’t have been necessary if the judges had gotten things right the first time, but it’s still a fight that will be hugely anticipated.
With Canelo in his prime as both a boxer and darling of the judges, and Golovkin looking like he’s slowed down, maybe this will be the Mexican’s crowning glory.
7. Gennady Golovkin/Saul Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders
The winner will have to face slick and underrated Billy Joe Saunders for undisputed 160lb. supremacy, however, and let’s hope that happens by this time next year.
8. Keith Thurman-Errol Spence
This is the obvious fight to be made at 147 (at least until Terence Crawford establishes himself at the new weight), but whether it will happen or not is a different question.
Thurman has expressed reluctance, expressing his preference to push it back until 2019 and admitting he’s lost some of his hunger for boxing.
9. Lee Selby-Carl Frampton
If Selby schools Josh Warrington as expected and Frampton overcomes a potentially dangerous fight with Nonito Donaire, this is the final destination that would make most sense.
They have the same promoter, Frampton wants another world title shot and Selby is looking for his defining fights after a few years in the wilderness.
10. Naoya Inoue-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai/Juan Francisco Estrada
It’s a shame that Inoue will possibly not stick around at 115lbs. long enough to meet the winner of the excellent upcoming SSR-Estrada fight, but why not just make it for 118 instead?