As we head towards a new year we've decided to look into our glass balls, our tea leaves and our palms to come up with 20 predictions which will be posted over the coming weeks for what we think will happen in 2020. So far our predictions haven't been the best though they've not all been wrong.
In 2013 we predicted that Naoya Inoue, his brother Takuma and Kosei Tanaka would all win world titles. Between them they've won a few world titles, though Takuma has yet to win a proper world title. That same year we also predicted a growth in Chinese boxing, and this arguably happened despite the fact the Macau side of things has died off. We also predicted a growth in Asian fighters making a name for themselves in the US, this was before Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Naoya Inoue or Kazuto Ioka had fought on US soil, and before the wave of Uzbek's had began to attract US attention.
Unlike the past, where we have made all of our predictions in 1 article, we'll be spreading these ones out with 1 prediction per article, and going more in depth than we have in the past.
Prediction number 14 - A world title fight to be held in Taiwan in 2020!
A second straight outlandish prediction sees us prediction that Taiwan will host a world title fight at some point next year, building on the baby steps the country has made in the sport in last year.
It's inevitable that growth in boxing in Taiwan is a key thing for the OPBF, who are essentially running the current shows in the country, and with the economy in Taiwan being a strong and stable one it only makes sense that the country will, eventually, become a hub for boxing. It's an economy that is growing, that will be able to bankroll world title fights and is a country that has strong import and export business with Japan and the US, both of whom have strong boxing backgrounds, as well as China, which is a growing boxing market it's self.
A bit like Vietnam the country has an untapped market for boxing, and it's a market that could explode in the coming years. If a promoter can plant their flag there, lay down the marker and begin to make a splash there then they will be in on the ground floor and make the most of the boom we suspect will happen in the coming years.
Although combat sports do take place in Taiwan, and the country has hosted things like K1 in 2008 and the 2008 East Asian Judo Championships, it has yet to host a major boxing event. That will change, it's just a matter of when, and why should they wait?
World title fights, to us boxing fans, might be the key bouts but in reality to countries they are also status symbols. The Thrilla in Manila, The Rumble in the Jungle, the Clash on the Dunes are all status symbol events, for a country to tell the world they are something big. A show in Taiwan would do something similar and prove that it's a viable player for major sporting events going forward.
We suspect that the country won't host any super fights any time soon, but we are predicting a world title fight, likely a women's world title fight, ends up in Taiwan in the back of the year of the country makes a statement and as promoters look for new regions to swarm to. The Chinese market is growing, the Vietnamese market is opening up and the Taiwanese boxing market, sponsored by microchip companies, could use the sport to sell the country as being something very special.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces