Thursday 14th December 2017

Alex Russell, Student UCFB – Wembley

Boxing’s Heavyweight division has seen a resurgence in recent years; with Wladimir Klitschko’s reign officially over, exciting fighters like Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua have breathed new life into a stale division that had once been regarding as one of Boxing’s best. Wladimir Klitschko’s accomplishments cannot be ignored, and he will deservedly reach boxings Hall of Fame, but his time spent atop the division will always be tainted by his lacklustre style of fighting. This, coupled with a shallow division and a severe lack of talent led to fans focusing on the lower divisions for exciting fights.

Then came Tyson Fury, one of the most colourful characters in the sport. An outspoken gypsy, Tyson is a polarising man. But one thing is for sure, he is simply impossible to ignore. The night he beat Klitschko will be remembered by fans as the night excitement was given back to the Heavyweights. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after his victory that Heavyweight Boxing’s new star was in trouble. Stripped of his titles and his licence revoked the world was left to see if some of the other new, exciting fighters could live up to entertainment that Fury provided.

Quick on his heels was brash American, Deontay Wilder, a knockout artist with bags of personality and charisma, a guy who talked a good game and more importantly, backed up the talk. he picked up a title and hasn’t looked back since seemingly knocking out everyone in his way. Deontay’s style is aggressive and fans love it! And under that aggression is a pedigree and skill set that earnt him an Olympic bronze medal.

Not far behind was Anthony Joshua, a Brit with a more reserved demeanour, but a killer instinct that quickly took him from Olympic Gold to World Champion. Now there were three champions worth watching, each exciting, huge and powerful. With Tyson Fury inactive 2017 saw New Zealand crown its first ever Heavyweight Champ in Joseph Parker.  Parker is a solid fighter but has not shown the bursts of class that Joshua and Wilder have and is seen by many as the weakest title holder.

2018 is there year of unification according to Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, who has stated his charge has plans to completely unify the division in the coming year. This has not been done since Lennox Lewis laced up gloves. Parker looks to be Joshua’s first target, with an agreement close to being reached between the two. Whilst Wilder has also been very vocal about fighting both men in the coming year. Moreover, this week Tyson Fury was declared ‘free to fight’ after accepting a two-year backdated ban from the UK Anti-Doping Agency that will end on December 12. Fury will still need to formally apply for a new licence, and upon doing so has stated his intention of regaining the titles he never lost, claiming he is the real King of the Heavyweights. Who is the best of these giants? We look set to find out as 2018 is shaping up to be the year that the giants reclaim the spotlight!


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