2022 got off to a good start for three boxers in particular, as Luis Ortiz, Joe Smith Jr and Mark Magsayo all overcame their opponents to clinch victories during January.
On New Year’s Day at the Seminole Hard Rock and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, Cuban Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs) took on former IBF heavyweight titleholder Charles Martin (28-3-1, 25 KOs). While Ortiz was stunned by two knockdowns he survived the bout with the American thanks to a sixth-round stoppage.
Two weeks later, on Saturday 15 January, and American Smith Jr (28-3, 22 KOs) became the victor as he made the first defence of his WBO Light-Heavyweight Title with a ninth-round TKO of compatriot and last-minute replacement Steven Geffrard (16-3, 12 KOs). At the fight at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York, Smith Jr took the fight to Geffrard from the opening bell.
When Magsayo beat Gary Russell Jr on Saturday 22 January at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in New Jersey, he ended men's boxing's longest active world championship reign. While Russell Jr had claimed the WBC featherweight title seven years earlier, this was just his sixth fight since becoming champion, and Magsayo won by majority decision to capture the belt.
Looking ahead to the rest of the year and there are some exciting bouts coming up. Here is the boxing schedule of major fights in February.
Saturday 5 February at Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, UK – Ben Shalom’s BOXXER
- Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams (Middleweight)
- Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO Middleweight Titles)
- Otto Wallin vs Kamil Sokolowski (Heavyweight)
Saturday 5 February at Footprint Centre, Phoenix, Arizona, USA – Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom
- Carlos Cuadras vs Jesse Rodriguez (WBC Super-Flyweight Title)
Saturday 5 February at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA – Al Haymon’s PBC
- Keith Thurman vs Mario Barrios (Welterweight)
- Leo Santa Cruz vs Keenan Carbajal (WBA Featherweight Title)
Saturday 12 February at Alexandra Palace, London, UK – Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom
- Daniel Jacobs vs John Ryder (Super-Middleweight)
Saturday 19 February at AO Arena, Manchester, UK – Ben Shalom’s BOXXER
- Amir Khan vs Kell Brook (149lbs Catchweight)
- Frazer Clarke vs Opponent TBC (Heavyweight)
- Natasha Jonas vs Ewa Piatkowska (Vacant WBO Super-Welterweight Title)
- Viddal Riley vs Opponent TBC (Cruiserweight)
Saturday 19 February at Bullring by the Sea, Tijuana, Mexico – Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy
- Jaime Munguia vs D’Mitrius Ballard (Middleweight)
Sunday 20 February at Burj Al Arab Helipad, Dubai, UAE
- Floyd Mayweather vs Opponent TBC (Exhibition)
Saturday 26 February at SSE Hydro Arena, Glasgow, Scotland – Bob Arum’s Top Rank and Ben Shalom’s BOXXER
- Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO Super-Lightweight Titles)
Saturday 26 February at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas, USA – Al Haymon’s PBC
- Roger Gutierrez vs Chris Colbert (WBA Super-Featherweight Title)
Sunday 27 February at O2 Arena, London, UK – Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom
- Lawrence Okolie vs Michal Cieslak (WBO Cruiserweight Title)