• Mon. Oct 24th, 2022

Jan 1, 2021

We are so done with 2020 that we’ve forgotten about it already.
Let’s not sugarcoat it, the less said about that year the better.
It will go down in history as the year sport, and life itself, stopped for a while, and never truly returned to normal.
A fitting end to 2020 as a screen at Tottenham announces the postponement of their match against Fulham to an empty stadium
But there is genuine hope that 2021 could be a historic year, too, for all the right reasons this time.
Absence really does make the heart grow fonder and if there’s one positive to take from 2020, it’s that we’ll never take live sport for granted ever again.
The fight against COVID is far from over, but the emergence of vaccines means the end is, at least, in sight.
And even if life doesn’t completely return to normality in 2021, these sporting events will give us all something to be more optimistic about.
If we’re allowed to attend, even better!
Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury
It’s got to happen in 2021, hasn’t it? Preferably in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, not that we’re being too picky.
The two British heavyweights, who hold all the belts between them, look set to finally meet after a successful 2020 for both of them.
And as long as boxing politics doesn’t get in the way, we should get the opportunity to watch the division’s best battle it out to crown to first undisputed heavyweight king since Lennox Lewis two decades ago.
You could argue it would be the biggest event in British sport since the 1966 World Cup final.
Fury and Joshua’s date with destiny is surely on the horizon
Fans back in
A lucky few got to venture back into stadiums for a short while in recent months, before the coronavirus crisis deepened once again.
Even in their limited numbers, it reminded us that sport is just so much better with fans there, and we miss them dearly.
It’s impossible to put a timeline on it, but little by little, we should see the return of fans to stadiums and at sporting events in 2021.
And then we get to fall in love with sport happening before our eyes all over again. Won’t that be nice?
Fans got a brief taste of football earlier this month
Conor McGregor back in the Octagon
As ever, 2020 was a weird one for McGregor, who retired from the UFC for the third time in his career.
In the least surprising news of the year, ‘Notorious’ will return to the Octagon, for a rematch with Dustin Poirier on January 23.
McGregor beat his opponent at UFC 178 back in September 2014, but the American has claimed a number of impressive wins since then.
And if that wasn’t enough for McGregor fans, the 32-year-old has hinted at boxing matches against Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather in the near future.
Dustin Poirier was knocked out inside one round when the pair first met at UFC 178
Euro 2020… in 2021
Just when it looks like England might have a team capable of challenging at a major tournament, it gets cancelled. Typical.
Nonetheless, the delayed Euro 2020, which is still called Euro 2020 despite the fact it won’t happen in 2020, is expected to go ahead this summer.
For the first time ever, fans were due to travel across Europe as various nations co-hosted the tournament, with several matches including the final due to be held at Wembley Stadium.
While it remains to be seen whether or not that format will change, as things stand, we currently have the final of the Euros on home soil to look forward to this year.
As Jurgen Klopp would say, that’s pretty cool.
Wembley is set to play host to several Euro 2020 matches
The Ashes
Remember when we could all just go to the cricket and boo David Warner? Those were the days.
Well, with a bit of luck, the Barmy Army will be down under dishing it out to Warner and Steve Smith next winter as England look to regain the Ashes.
Annoyingly, Australia are quite good again now, and they’ve had control of the famous little urn since 2018.
Even still, hearing a full MCG crowd roar as Pat Cummins steams in to bowl at Ben Stokes next Boxing Day is something we can get very excited about.
England must ensure this doesn’t happen again next winter
The Ryder Cup
If fans can’t go to the Ryder Cup, you might as well just call it off.
In a traditionally quiet sport, its biennial team event is characterised by massive crowds and big noise, especially when it’s hosted by the Americans, which it will be next September when the Europeans travel to Wisconsin to defend their title.
Even those unbearable chants of ‘USA, USA’ would sound quite comforting after the year we just had.
Team Europe currently have the Ryder Cup – but the Americans have dominated solo golf in the years since that 2018 victory