Fight fans can look forward to a packed boxing schedule this year, but many of the clashes that represent the best the sport has to offer are in jeopardy due to the increasing complexity of the business side of the sport.
The vast majority of upcoming fights this year have been signed-off by promoters out of convenience rather than public demand.
Promoters will have their hands full when negotiating mega-fight contracts as every year more and more obstacles appear to hamper the chances of these blockbuster clashes taking place.
However, we can only hope we are treated to some mouthwatering fights in 2019 and hope that promoters do not stand in the way.
Everyone has their own wishlist for this year, and ESPN have released theirs, and they've named 15 fights they want to see booked for 2019.
Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr.
Both undefeated fighters are world title holders at welterweight, with Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) holding the WBO strap and Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) the IBF title.
Spence has the undeniable physicality and strength to threaten Crawford, while ‘Bud’ will look to outbox ‘The Truth’ by establishing his quick jab and showcasing his technical prowess in the ring.
Crawford is currently ranked above Spence in the pound-for-pound rankings with the Omaha-born fighter coming in at No. 2, while Spence is ranked at No. 6.
Spence, however, supersedes his opponent in the welterweight rankings, taking top spot for all 147lb boxers.
Both champions have clashed outside the ring in the past and fights fans will hope that the question of who the best welterweight currently in the world will be settled this year.
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury
This huge potential rematch in the heavyweight division would be a a showstopper.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), will look for more consistency when these two giants step in the ring once again.
The ‘Bronze Bomber’ looked far from his best when he fought the ‘Gypsy King’ in December last year, but he still managed to connect with two of his biggest shots which sent the Mancunian down to the canvas.
Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) miraculously beat the count in the final round after taking one of Wilder’s biggest punches, and showed his boxing intelligence and superior technical ability throughout the clash.
Both men have huge personalities outside the ring and interest will be through the roof for the return bout after the first edition ended a draw.
Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin III
Another clash of the titans, a rematch would be the third instalment in this epic rivalry where Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) emerged victorious via majority decision in their last bout.
Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) came on strong down the stretch landing some quality shots which rattled the Mexican star, but it was just too little too late for the 36-year-old Kazakh.
Canelo, 28, is in the beginning stages of his record deal with DAZN worth £278 million across five years.
‘GGG’ will certainly be considered as a potential opponent and will look to exact revenge on his Mexican rival should a fight be signed-off for later this year.
The clock is ticking on Golovkin, though, as he approaches his late 30’s, his decline may have already begun.
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Luis Ortiz
Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) will be making the move up to the land of the giants after his dominant victory over Liverpudlian bruiser Tony Bellew In November last year.
Ortiz (30-1, 26 KOs), is a tricky southpaw who can certainly take a punch. The Cuban displayed exceptional power when he nearly stripped Deontay Wilder of his WBC crown in March 2018.
The 39-year-old is certainly nearing the end of his career, but will want to leave the sport on a high-note, and a victory against one of the pound-for-pound stars of the world would certainly be fitting.
Usyk has outlined his intention to touch gloves with Ortiz in the near future and will have his promotional company K2 hard at work to secure a deal.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman
Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) aged 40, facing one of the young emerging stars of the sport would be a fascinating watch.
Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) is a one-time unified welterweight world title holder and will come off what is nearly a two-year layoff when he faces Josesito Lopez on January 26.
Pacquiao will face Adrien Broner on January 19 in what very well could be his curtain call in the ring, but should the senator from the Philippines emerge victorious, a follow-up clash with Thurman would certainly be a blockbuster.
So they are the major five ESPN want to see happen, but what about the other 10?
Well, they consist of: Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Mikey Garcia, Danny Jacobs vs. Jermall Charlo, Dmitry Bivol vs. Badou Jack, Jarrett Hurd vs. Jaime Munguia, Jose Ramirez vs. Jorge Linares, Oscar Valdez vs. Leo Santa Cruz, Danny Roman vs. Rey Vargas, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada II, Gervonta Davis vs. Alberto Machado and Gervonta Davis vs. Tevin Farmer.News Now - Sport News