Anthony Joshua

Boxing’s Biggest Problem Being Seen Within the Heavyweight Division

Wilder, Fury, Joshua

In the span of 29 days, boxing’s three best Heavyweights will all have enter the squared circle, yet none of the three will be matched up against one of the other two.

Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs), for example, successfully defended his WBC Heavyweight title for the ninth straight time with a one-sided first-round knockout victory over Dominic Breazeale on May 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

After separating early on in the first round, “The Bronze Bomber” marched forward and landed a thunderous right hand that separated Breazeale from his consciousness, reminding those watching why he’s been considered to be amongst the most feared punchers the division has ever seen.

Next up, unified WBA, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) will put his titles on the line against Andy Ruiz Jr. live on DAZN on June 1 from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Originally, Joshua was scheduled to take on Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, but Miller was forced to withdraw from the bout after failing multiple drug tests.

And finally, Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), the man considered to be the lineal Heavyweight champion, will do battle with Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) on June 15 on ESPN+ from Las Vegas, Nevada.

At one point in time, Heavyweight boxing was considered to be the pinnacle of sports. For years, however, the division went through a bit of a down period, partly due to the reign of dominance exhibited by Wladimir Klitschko, who spent over 4,000 days as the Heavyweight champion.

Despite his dominance, Klitschko’s style wasn’t the most appealing and until Fury bested him in 2015, there were few contenders who could compete with him. Now, however, that isn’t the case, as the division currently features multiple champions, each of whom appeals to the masses in a different way.

Wilder, for example, is not only a hellacious puncher, but an outspoken fighter unafraid to stand up for what he believes in.

Joshua, meanwhile, possesses the physique of a bodybuilder and the charisma and skill that have made him a mega star in the United Kingdom. The fact that he’ll be making his United States debut in just a few days will only increase his profile.

Lastly, Fury represents quite a unique character not only due to his entertaining trash talk, but due to the fact that he possesses the type of movement and fighting style not often shown by a fighter of his size.

The fact of the matter is that for the first time in years, the Heavyweight division is home to multiple championship level fighters that fans want to see compete. The problem, however, is that they aren’t fighting each other. In other words, the best aren’t fighting the best and this isn’t something new in boxing.

For years, fans clamored to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao meet inside of the ring, but negotiations dragged on for years until the two finally met in 2015. At this point, both men were past their primes and the fight turned out to be a lackluster bout that Mayweather won in one-sided fashion. Fans will never know what could’ve been had the two met years earlier.

And unfortunately, the same thing seems to be on its way to occurring in regards to a potential Welterweight title bout between top pound-for-pound talents Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. Both are two of the very best fighters in the sport, though it’s unlikely we see them fight for quite some time despite both being in the primes of their respective careers.

Now in regards to the Heavyweight division specifically, it’s important to take note of a few things. First and foremost, it must be pointed out that Wilder and Fury have fought. The two met last December in a thrilling bout that ended in a split draw.

The problem, however, is that a rematch didn’t take place right away and isn’t likely to take place in the near future. The two champions seemed to be headed for a second contest, though negotiations fell through when Fury inked a deal with Top Rank. So instead, Wilder met Brezeale and Fury will soon meet Schwarz, two bouts that few, if any fans asked for.

Furthermore, it is indeed believed by many in the boxing industry that Joshua and Wilder will eventually square off, but once again, it doesn’t look like it’ll be happening anytime soon. In fact, The Bronze Bomber just announced that he’ll next be taking on Luis Ortiz in a rematch of their 2018 fight.

And while that fight was a terrific contest, it would’ve been promising to see Wilder wait and see how Joshua-Ruiz played out and perhaps begin negotiations for a bout with Joshua.

Ultimately, it’s quite possible that we’ll see a rematch between Wilder and Fury, and perhaps multiple bouts between Wilder and Joshua and Joshua and Fury. But the problem remains, that these fights should be taking place now.

At this moment, each of the three men are at the peak of their powers and fans would be thrilled if any of the three aforementioned fights were to be made official. But once again, it appears as if politics is taking over in boxing.

At one point, this sport was about the best fighting the best. Unfortunately, that no longer seems to be the case and that’s a shame for the fans.

Moving forward, let’s hope that things begin to change because as of now, boxing is missing out on some massive fights, or at the very least, those massive fights simply aren’t taking place when they should be.

Clearly, this is a sport-wide problem currently being seen in the Heavyweight division and it’s time that it be taken care of.

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