Where Does the Heavyweight Division in Boxing Stand Now?
Over the period, the sport of Boxing has changed a lot. It became hard to be a boxing fan after a certain point. And there is nothing wrong with the sport. But the issue lies in how it operates. You can easily find fighters who have long and unbeaten records which don’t always help the sports.
Agreed, the promotion wants to build their fighters’ image by adding wins in their resume. However, it is not so compelling for the fans of sports. Why would they even bother watching a match if they already know the result of the fight?
The heavyweight division has been facing the same issue up until now. There were some huge names such as Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder but they have been on a path of domination since the beginning of their career.
Anthony Joshua was unbeaten and so was Deontay Wilder. Nobody knew who the best heavyweight boxer of the world is cause these two fighters never fought each other. No matter what the reason was, we fans didn’t get what we ask for. And it became less compelling to us with time.
But it all changed when the Gypsy King made his return and accepted to get into the ring with the most powerful heavyweight Deontay Wilder. It was one of the greatest boxing matches in the history of the sports for sure. Fury out skilled Wilder for most of the rounds and fans believed that he would win the fight.
However, Wilder knocked Fury into another orbit in the 12th round after an exhausting battle. And what’s more surprising is, Fury got back up and dominated Wilder for the remaining time. It was everything the heavyweight needed. Even though it was a draw we got to see two of the best fighters go toe to toe for 12 rounds to decide who the best in the world is.
A few months later, the well known heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua fought Andy Ruiz Jr to defend his title. This match changed the whole scenario for the heavyweights. A small portion of boxing fans knew who Andy Ruiz Jr. and he went into the fight as a 1 to 29 underdog. And the fight started as it was expected to. Anthony Joshua was outboxing Ruiz with his punches. But Ruiz knocked him down, shocking the world.
We had our heavyweight champion who looked nothing like a heavyweight boxer. On one hand, Anthony Joshua was as ripped as a professional bodybuilder and Andy Ruiz was just an average looking Mexican. Andy Ruiz was a bad matchup for Joshua from the beginning. And these two are going to face each other again in Abu Dhabi soon which can change the entire scene in the heavyweights.
If Anthony Joshua wins, then he may fight either Wilder or Fury. But considering his past feud with Wilder, a fight with Wilder would make much more sense than a fight with Fury. But if Joshua loses then it may be over for him. Joshua has been a dominant champion for a long time now and he was considered the face of the heavyweight before he lost to Ruiz. So if he loses to Ruiz for the second time too, his legacy is going to be tarnished.
We also have a rematch between Fury and Wilder on the table. This fight must happen again sooner or later. There was no decisive winner in the first fight although the majority of the boxing community had Fury won the match. However, Wilder’s knockouts might have played a crucial factor in that decision.
Or maybe we just witnessed how screwed boxing has become. Irrespective of that, Wilder vs Fury must happen again. We might even see Wilder trying to unify the heavyweight titles and fight either Ruiz or Joshua in the future depending on the results of the rematch between Ruiz and Joshua. the gypsy king, Tyson Fury can fight Joshua since he has been calling him out for a while.
It’ll be safe to say that the heavyweight division of boxing has not looked this better and competitive for a meaningful period. And with such great matchups on the table, we may have some eventful years ahead of us in boxing.