Boxing to FINALLY get its heavyweight unification fight, Lewis Hamilton is gunning for a record-breaking eighth world title... and can Arsenal achieve Premier League glory? EIGHT sporting events in 2023 to get excited about

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The year of 2022 has come to an end, bringing the curtain down on what has been another monumental year of sport.

The controversial Qatar World Cup has been and gone, the Lionesses won their first major trophy in women's football while the winter Olympics kicked off the year in style back in February.

But now, with 12 great months of sport behind us, what are the biggest and standout sporting events we can start looking forward as we enter 2023? Calendars at the ready because Sportsmail has you covered...

The Qatar World Cup brings the curtain down on 2022 and another enthralling year of sport

The Qatar World Cup brings the curtain down on 2022 and another enthralling year of sport

The Qatar World Cup brings the curtain down on 2022 and another enthralling year of sport

Fury and Usyk to finally unify the heavyweight division

Date TBC

While this entry seems a little bit of a cop-out as there's no exact date confirmed at the time of writing, you can still expect to see Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk go at it in 2023 and finally unify the heavyweight division.

Usyk's manager had claimed that the fight could take place on March 4, and Fury remains adamant that he will 'take out' the Ukrainian heavyweight if they face off next year.

Tyson Fury is the WBC heavyweight champion

Ukrainian fighter Usyk is the current occupant of the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts

Tyson Fury (left) and Oleksandr Usyk (right) look set to face each other early next year

A fight between Fury and Usyk will see them finally unify the heavyweight division

A fight between Fury and Usyk will see them finally unify the heavyweight division

A location for the fight - which will see the division unified for the first time since Lennox Lewis in 1999 - is also still yet to be decided, although both fighters are keen for the clash to come in early 2023.

Usyk is the current occupant of the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts after he convincingly beat Anthony Joshua for all four belts in September 2021, before winning the rematch just under a year later in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Fury currently holds the WBC heavyweight title.

It promises to be a monumental fight between two men who hold all the gold.

Hamilton aiming to make F1 history

February through to November 

After a year of watching Max Verstappen absolutely dominate from start to finish, Lewis Hamilton will be itching to get the season started in February.

Having controversially lost out to Verstappen on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021, Hamilton struggled to compete with the Red Bull, leaving many to question whether he would continue racing, given how he turns 38 this month.

A hatful of issues - including a porpoising car during the first half of the year - also saw Hamilton failed to record a single race win in a season for the first time in his career.

However, despite a difficult campaign and uncertainty over his future, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff 'absolutely' expects Hamilton to remain as a driver for the team beyond 2023.

Lewis Hamilton will be out to win a record-breaking eighth world driver's championship

Lewis Hamilton will be out to win a record-breaking eighth world driver's championship

Max Verstappen dominated proceedings last season to win his second world title

Max Verstappen dominated proceedings last season to win his second world title

Issues saw Hamilton fail to record a single race win in a season for the first time in his career

Issues saw Hamilton fail to record a single race win in a season for the first time in his career

Hamilton previously declared that he would not race beyond his 40th birthday - which would be in January 2025 - but is still eager to hunt down a record-breaking eighth driver's championship title.

His legion of fans will be desperate to finally clinch that eighth world title, and should he stay and have a car capable of matching the Red Bull, finally surpassing Michael Schumacher's seven world titles could certainly be on the cards. 

Lionesses gunning for glory at the Women's World Cup

July 20 - August 20

Is it coming home... again? 

The Lionesses made history earlier this summer by winning their first major trophy in women's football, after beating Germany in front of over 80,000 fans at Wembley to grip the nation.

It was truly a brilliant achievement from a squad who have etched their names in English folklore and will now out to become world champions in the USA next summer.

The Lionesses became European champions after beating Germany at Wembley last summer

The Lionesses became European champions after beating Germany at Wembley last summer

England fans may still be licking their wounds following the men's exit from the Qatar World Cup at the hands of France, but they can get back behind Sarina Wiegman's side come July and hope for more of the same one year on from their Euro 2022 triumph.

However, it will be no easy feat for Beth Mead and Co, given the reigning world champions USA will be playing on home soil, making them the heavy favourites.

Can Arsenal keep the momentum going?

Now through to May 28 

As the Premier League took a month-long break due to the Qatar World Cup, so did Arsenal's impressive bid to win the title.

The Gunners are the best team at the halfway stage, boasting a seven-point gap to nearest challengers, and reigning champions, Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta's men have lost just once in the league this season and have enjoyed a stellar campaign thus far.

Arsenal were flying in the Premier League before club football halted for the Qatar World Cup

Arsenal were flying in the Premier League before club football halted for the Qatar World Cup

Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne will look to hunt the Gunners down for Manchester City

Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne will look to hunt the Gunners down for Manchester City

However, there's still a long way to go before we find out if they manage to keep up the momentum, or they faded away with someone else pipping them to top spot come the end of May.

Will Gabriel Jesus' long lay-off due to a knee injury derail their title bid or will Arteta be able to steady the ship and reignite their pre-World Cup form?

Rugby World Cup

September 8 - October 28

The men's Rugby World Cup returns in September with South Africa looking to defend their crown in France.

The Springboks will still have great memories of the last time this competition was held in France, given how they beat England – the same opponents they beat to win the 2019 crown – in that 2007 final.

South Africa will be out to retain their World Cup crown at this year's tournament in France

South Africa will be out to retain their World Cup crown at this year's tournament in France

Since 2007, the World Cup has only been shared between the Springboks and New Zealand, with the All Blacks winning it back-to-back in 2011 and then 2015, with both nations now tied on three world titles apiece.

This year's edition will also be the first major tournament since 2015 that England will not be lead by Eddie Jones, following his sacking earlier this month.

The Ryder Cup returns to Europe

September 25 - October 1

The year 2022 was dominated by the start of the controversial LIV Golf, which nearly tore the sport apart at the seams.

Defections from some of golf's biggest stars to the Saudi-financed tour has left question marks over whether those involved will be permitted in the sport's traditional big tournament.

This includes the Ryder Cup, which is back on European soil for the first time, with Rome's Marco Simone & Country Club playing host this year.

Europe were blown away over a year ago by Team USA at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in 2021

Europe were blown away over a year ago by Team USA at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in 2021

Both teams are set to make wholesale changes, with Europe captain Luke Donald hinting that he will not to select those who have defected to the breakaway series - which could see the likes of Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood all miss out.

Europe were blown away over a year ago by Team USA at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, losing 19-9, which was the heaviest in modern history.

With revenge on the line for Europe and the possible exemption of LIV defectors, it makes the 2023 edition as one not to miss. 

England to defend their 50-over Cricket World Cup title

October through to November

England have been on top of the world in cricket as of late. 

In 2019, they won the Cricket World Cup in the most dramatic ways, with Eoin Morgan's side requiring a super over to beat New Zealand on an incredible day at Lord's.

Fast forward to November this year and Jos Buttler' side are crowned as champions of the T20 World Cup after beating Pakistan by five wickets at the MCG.

England won the 2019 Cricket World Cup in spectacular and dramatic fashion at Lord's

England won the 2019 Cricket World Cup in spectacular and dramatic fashion at Lord's

It sees them become the first men's team to hold both white-ball trophies at the same time and Stokes will be hoping to continue England's red hot form into the tournament this summer.

It promises to be another exciting tournament but it will be an almighty challenge given it will hosted entirely in India – for the first time ever – this time round.

But given their recent performances, you wouldn't put it past Buttler and Co to pull off another epic performance and mirror Morgan's 2019 side's achievement.

...and the Ashes will be up for grabs!

June 16 - July 31

It promises to be a huge summer of cricket with the Ashes set to be contested in England this time round.

Australia dominated Joe Root's side last time round, winning the five-match series Down Under 4-0 in humiliating fashion.

But since then Ben Stokes has taken the reins and has turned England's red ball fortunes around, having recorded the first ever whitewash over Pakistan on their own patch in December's three-Test series.

With England much improved, this summer's Ashes promises to be a lot more competitive in reality – and that's good for everyone, right?

Australia dominated England last time round, winning the five-match series Down Under 4-0

Australia dominated England last time round, winning the five-match series Down Under 4-0

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