Glynn Evans took a dozen leading lights from the BoxNation roster to sit on Santa’s knee and request three fights for 2018 that they’d most like to find in their Christmas stocking.
Billy Joe Saunders (WBO Middleweight Champion)
1. Myself against (Gennady) Golovkin for all the middleweight marbles. He’s the unbeaten man, who they say is unbeatable. I’d love to be the first to prove ‘em wrong.
2. Tyson Fury v AJ (Anthony Joshua). Potentially a very, very good fight and I see Tyson getting his gold back.
3. A rematch between James DeGale and George Groves. That wasn’t the real James against Truax. It’s still a 50-50 fight for me.
Carl Frampton (Ex Two Weight World Champion)
1. A third fight between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz cos we’re one each after two great fights. It’d be great for boxing and I’ve got a score to settle!
2. Joshua v Tyson Fury. Tyson will need a fight before that but if he can get back to the shape he was in for the Klitschko title win, I’d fancy him. It’d be absolutely huge.
3. Mikey Garcia against (Terence) ‘Bud’ Crawford. That’d be a battle and a half at light-welter. I love both but edge to Crawford. Garcia isn’t the biggest guy in the world but has a massive head!
Terry Flanagan (Ex WBO Lightweight Champion)
1. Me against Linares at 10st after I’ve first won the WBO title. The fight nearly got done at 135 and has been talked about for years. Jorge’s now quite well known in the UK.
2. Joshua v Fury. Tyson outboxes him if he gets back on it.
3. Terence Crawford v Mikey Garcia at ten stone. They’re both very talented boxers and both huge punchers, around my weight. It’d build up interest in my division.
Bradley Skeete (British Welterweight Champion)
1. A rematch between ‘Canelo’ and ‘Triple G’. We all know who deserved the verdict so let’s make it official. Mind, ‘Canelo’ knows he can take the power now so we could see a different fight.
2. Billy Joe Saunders against the winner of the above. On the form he showed against Lemieux over in Canada, Bill has the skill to outbox anybody in the division.
3. Myself against Amir Khan. Amir’s a class, two weight world champion who apparently wants to return at 147 where I’m the domestic number one. That’s the level I want to perform at and the rewards would be nice!
Daniel Dubois (Unbeaten Heavyweight Prospect)
1. Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder. A classy heavyweight match-up. Both are very unorthodox, very charismatic. Tyson was calling him out before his lay-off so it could happen.
2. ‘Canelo’ against Billy Joe Saunders. Two very skilled, very experienced fighters who’d bring out the best performance in each other.
3. (Vasyl) Lomachenko against Mikey Garcia. It’s possible ‘Loma’ could dazzle and outmaneuver him but I lean towards Garcia’s extra weight and strength.
Liam Smith (Ex WBO Super-Welterweight Champion)
1. ‘Canelo’ v Golovkin II. Regardless of the controversy, that first fight was unbelievable; two very, very good fighters right at the top of their games. I need to see it again.
2. Liam Smith v Sadam Ali. He now holds the title (WBO Super-Welter) that I lost and want back. He’s the champion I’m closest to. I’m his mandatory so it has to happen.
3. AJ v Deontay Wilder. That’s the biggest fight in world boxing at the moment, for the biggest prize in sports. That’ll determine the hardest man on our planet!
Josh Warrington (IBF Mandatory Featherweight Challenger)
1. Me against Lee Selby’s dad! I need to shut him up. No, me challenging Lee for his IBF title. It’s been brewing for a few years and it’d be brilliant to be crowned world champion in Leeds.
2. AJ v Tyson Fury. A very entertaining clash between two very big men with big personalities.
3. Lomachenko versus Mikey Garcia at lightweight. Garcia always finds a way to win. ‘Loma’ has cruised through the weight divisions but stepping up again provides an even playing field, a test of the true extent of his greatness.
Lyon Woodstock (Unbeaten Super-Featherweight Prospect)
1. Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder. Wilder brings that wildness – actually they both do – but Tyson has far better form. He can box, fight or go wild. Sometimes you need to bring chaos to the ring!
2. Fury v AJ. Fury would beat him up...of course!
3. Billy Joe Saunders v (Gennady) Golovkin. Billy would have too much boxing ability. He made Lemieux look like he’d just stepped out the amateurs. When Billy Joe is properly ‘on it’, he’s untouchable.
Barry Jones (Ex WBO Super-Featherweight Champion)
1. Lomachenko v Mikey Garcia at lightweight. Garcia is the only one I see who can rival the brilliance of ‘Loma’.
2. Zelfa Barrett against Lyon Woodstock; a natural match-up between two very talented and dangerous undefeated prospects. Let’s see who’s King of the North.
3. Billy Joe Saunders v ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. After finally ‘coming out’ so impressively against Lemieux last weekend, let’s give Billy Joe a chance to test himself against the real elite.
Steve Lillis (Leading Journalist)
1. Carl Frampton v Lee Selby. A magnificent match-up between two high quality operators in their primes.
2. Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder; an absolute shoot-out and Wilder has a far greater chance than most think. His jab is really coming on.
3. Billy Joe Saunders against Golovkin. Bill’s style would give him a hell of a chance. Danny Jacobs gave ‘Triple G’ fits when he turned southpaw.
Liam Williams (Ex British Super-Welterweight Champion)
1. Tyson Fury against ‘Josh’. There’s so much hype around Joshua but I think if Tyson Fury gets back into the shape he was in when he took the titles from Wladimir Klitschko, he beats any other heavyweight. He deserves the chance.
2. Myself against any 154lb world champion. Ideally, I’d like Liam Smith to beat (WBO king) Sadam Ali and then fight ‘Beefy’ for a third time with a world title on the line. Only experience beat me last time. I genuinely believe I’ve got his number.
3. Billy Joe Saunders against ‘Canelo’. Golovkin possibly applies too much pressure and hits too hard but I think Saunders could beat Alvarez. ‘Canelo’ has slow feet.
Frank Warren (Hall of Fame Promoter)
1. Tyson Fury v AJ. It’s the fight every British boxing fan wants to see and Joshua is generally considered the best of the current belt holders. I see Tyson regaining the titles he never lost in the ring.
2. Billy Joe Saunders against whoever wins the Golovkin v ‘Canelo’ rematch set for May. That’s what Bill wants. I just hope that Saturday’s absolute clinic in Canada hasn’t scared them off!
3. Josh Warrington challenging Lee Selby for the IBF Featherweight title. They’ve held a grudge for a long time which always helps, both with the fight and the marketing. It’s more or less done and we’ll be looking to get it on as soon as possible.