From Andy Ruiz Jr. to Manny Pacquiao – Here Are Five World-Class Boxers Who Did Not Compete in 2020

Published 12/26/2020, 10:35 AM EST
Andy Ruiz Jr. with a cut above his left eye during his fight against Anthony Joshua in their IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Championship contest at the Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

2020 was a wild ride for the whole boxing world, especially the A-listed superstars.


Article continues below this ad

Despite suffering the hurdles brought in by COVID-19 outbreak, boxing saw some of its biggest fights happen this year and multiple titles have shifted shoulders in the time loop.

Starting from Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua to Ryan Garcia and Teofimo Lopez, umpteen superstars have proven their worth in 2020 as they aim for bigger goals in the upcoming year.


Article continues below this ad

However, several other superstars of the sport remained inactive. While we saw big names like Lomachenko and Errol Spence Jr. emerge, many more names could have cemented a spot in 2020.

As we take a step closer to 2021, let’s look at the boxing superstars who remained inactive.

Boxing superstars and 2020 glory

Boxing saw its fights happen in empty arenas with no gate sales. It was a terrific loss to the sport, but being able to hear every sound of punches was thrilling to the fans.

Well, some pugilists couldn’t replicate the same.

Andy Ruiz Jr.

Andy Ruiz Jr. during his fight against Anthony Joshua in their IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Championship contest at the Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Mexican shocked the world in 2019 when he knocked out Anthony Joshua for the unified heavyweight titles in June.

Although he lost the titles in a rematch, Andy Ruiz Jr. was still a top-rated prodigy in the heavyweight title ride. He could have accepted a fight in 2020 but stayed away from the ring.

As he expects an early return in 2021, the rust taken by year-long inactivity might hamper his game plan.

Luke Campbell

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Luke Campbell of England celebrates winning in the WBC Silver Lightweight Championship match during Boxing at Echo Arena on October 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

If not for the COVID-19, Campbell was scheduled to face Ryan Garcia for the WBC Interim lightweight title in December. After losing against Vasyl Lomachenko in 2019, ‘Cool Hand’ Campbell hasn’t fought yet.

He will return on January 2, 2021, against Ryan Garcia, However, 2020 has been a dry year for him and his fans missed out on a lot of expected plans.

Manny Pacquiao

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 20: Manny Pacquiao celebrates his split-decision victory over Keith Thurman in their WBA welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Filipino Senator had a sensational year in 2019 with back-to-back wins against Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman.

However, his political role and COVID-19 struggles prevented him from entering the ring this year. Manny Pacquiao teased a cross-promotion fight against Conor McGregor. But it doesn’t seem to happen anytime soon.

Floyd Mayweather

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 12: Floyd Mayweather Jr. walks in the ring during his WBC/WBA welterweight title fight against Andre Berto at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Despite retiring, ‘Money May’ keeps returning to the squared circle, and he hinted at doing a crossover with UFC in the earlier 2020. He even touted a rematch against Conor McGregor and a fight with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Nevertheless, nothing took place and Floyd Mayweather will now return in February 2021 to fight Logan Paul in a special exhibition clash at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.

Chris Eubank Jr.


Article continues below this ad

Chris Eubank Jr. (R) of Great Britain and his coach and father Chris Eubank (M) stand together after their victory at the super middleweight quarterfinals of the IBO Boxing World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, 7 October 2017. Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa (Photo by Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images)

‘Next Gen’ Eubank Jr. hasn’t fought in 2020, following two wins in 2019. The Interim middleweight champion hinted at accepting several challenges this year, but COVID-19 wreaked all those plans.

As fans and boxing are back in its primary form, Chris Eubank Jr. can return to action soon.


Article continues below this ad

Amid all these absences, the returns will seemingly be bigger in the upcoming days. It’s safe to state, boxing will further get intensified when the above-mentioned names return.


Raj Sarkar

1907 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.