From Anthony Joshua to Devin Haney – Here Are the Champions That May Lose Their Belts in 2021

Published 01/26/2021, 1:23 AM EST
DIRIYAH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 07: Anthony Joshua looks on with a cut to his left eye during the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua during the Matchroom Boxing ‘Clash on the Dunes’ show at the Diriyah Season on December 07, 2019 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The year 2020 was substantial for the sport of boxing, but 2021 seems ecstatic and extremely promising. This year will see some high-profile boxers taking up space in the squared circle. Alongside that, there’ll be enigmatic title clashes this year, that possess the ability to glue the boxing fans throughout.


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That said, here we take a look at some top-graded champions who may lose their hard-earned straps in 2021.

Anthony Joshua


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‘AJ’ is a colossal name in the sport today. This year, the Brit will take on his toughest test to date against Tyson Fury. Joshua holds the WBO, WBA, and IBF heavyweight titles and the duo will compete for the undisputed heavyweight championship this year.

Though Joshua is a staunch boxer, finishing Tyson Fury will prove to be a sturdy challenge for him. Fury is undefeated in his professional boxing career, and he undeniably walks into this fight as a favorite. The ‘Gypsy King’ poses a wild threat to the fellow Britisher who has lost once already. Joshua has indefinite power, but the latter has immense fight IQ to tackle him.

The world will watch this fight to see how ‘AJ’ approaches Fury in the epic encounter.

Devin Haney

The lightweight roster is filled with undefeated fighters, and Devin Haney is one of them. ‘The Dream’ is the WBC lightweight champion with an amazing track record of 25-0.

This year, he’ll put his title on the line against rival Ryan Garcia, who recently became the WBC interim champion. Garcia exhibits some serious knockout power compared to Haney and is the biggest young-prospect in boxing today.

Haney has faced some big-wig opponents in the past, but he has confronted no one as quick and powerful as ‘KingRy’. If Devin Haney wishes to protect his strap against the latter, he’ll have to dig in real deep to push Garcia on the losing side. Otherwise, ‘KingRy’ has all the skill sets under his wing to dethrone Haney from the WBC title.

Read – What’s Wrong With Roy Jones Jr.’s Left Bicep?

Billy Joe Saunders

Saunders, the WBO super-middleweight champion, is currently unaligned with any opponent. However, in a few months from now, he is speculated to take on the pound for pound king of boxing, Canelo Alvarez, to defend his title.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: Billy Joe Saunders defeats Willie Munroe Jr for the WBO World Middleweight Title fight at Copper Box Arena on September 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Leigh Dawney/Getty Images)

Alvarez has cemented his plans to stay at the 168-pound division with his win over Callum Smith. Not only that, but he has expressed keen interest in walking down as the undisputed king of the super-middleweight division. Though Saunders hasn’t lost a single fight in his career yet, there is every possibility that his first ‘L’ might just come against the Mexican boxer.

Dec 19, 2020; San Antonio, TX, USA; Canelo Alvarez (red trunks) celebrates after defeating Callum Smith (white trunks) during their WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super middleweight championship bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Saul Alvarez is a veteran of the sport with a decorated boxing career. He has moved out several opponents from his roadway to be the champion, and in a fight with Saunders, he’ll look to do the same.

Errol Spence Jr.

‘The Truth’ made a charismatic come back to the ring after a horrific car crash. He beat Danny Garcia in his last fight to defend his welterweight strap. However, this win has put him on top for a fight with fellow American Terence Crawford. 

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 28: Erroll Spence Jr. in the ring after he defeated Shawn Porter in their IBF & WBC World Welterweight Championship fight at Staples Center on September 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Spence, Jr won by decision. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Both the fighters are undefeated and are keen on unifying their titles in the welterweight division. But Crawford edges over Spence Jr. in terms of experience and fight IQ. Crawford has a professional boxing record of 37 wins coupled with 28 KOs.

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 17: Terence Crawford works out during the Media Workout day at the Mendez Boxing Gym May 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)

This is the only important fight at the welterweight division right now, and Spence Jr.’s belts seem to be in jeopardy against a top-notch contender like Terence Crawford.

Read – Andy Ruiz Jr. Once Told Mike Tyson How His Life Got ‘Annoying’ and ‘Crazy’ After Defeating Anthony Joshua

Joshua Franco

Franco has been the WBA super-flyweight champion for a while now. He bagged this title against Australia’s Andrew Moloney in their first encounter. However, the duo contended in a rematch wherein the bout got declared a no-contest after round 2. The referees stopped the fight after a suspected headbutt.


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Though the fight could only happen for 2 rounds, Moloney attacked Franco with a considerable number of punches and stunned him in this fight. He had a mindset to dispatch Franco that night and reclaim his title but the fight rooted an unfortunate end.


A trilogy between the two is presumed to take place by early 2021, and Molony will look to continue his performance of the second contest in this trilogy too.


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All these fights carry immense hype and responsibilities and fans will be intrigued to view these bouts coming to life.


Prathamesh Singh Chauhan

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Prathamesh Singh Chauhan is a Boxing Author at EssentiallySports. He is a graduate from the International Institute of Sports Management who combines his love for sports, particularly combat sports, and his flair for writing and analysis to help him in his day-to-day work. He has prior professional experience with sporting organizations such as Star Sports, Khelo India, and NBA.