It’s often been said as goes the heavyweights as goes the sport of boxing. The heavyweight division has historically been the glamour division. When the heavyweight division is hot the eyes of the sporting world shifts to boxing. The heavyweight division has had hot and cold streaks throughout history. It’s last epic hot streak was in the 90’s with Lewis, Holyfield, Tyson, and Bowe and it fell asleep for the last twenty years. Well, it was put to sleep by a giant Klitschko bear hug. That’s done now and the heavyweight division is alive and well and that is great news for boxing
There is more talent up and down the heavyweight division then there has been at any point in my lifetime. The talent is spread among fighters on both sides of the Atlantic and in the middle of the Pacific all in of their absolute primes. There are seven fighters from all over the world who could legitimately claim a strap in this division all young and in their prime. This does not include two other top-tier heavyweights in their late 30’s and couldn’t pass a steroid test with a cheat sheet (Povetkin and Luis Ortiz). Let’s take a look at the top seven heavyweights who are going to run the heavyweight division back to glory for the next decade.
Anthony Joshua- WBA & IBF Heavyweight Champion- AJ is viewed as the leader in the clubhouse he has 2 of the 4 straps and captured gold in the 2012 Olympics he has a perfect 20-0 record with 20 KO’s and has the physic of Hercules. He sells out 90,000 seat venues in the UK and already has the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, Dillian Whyte, Charles Martin and Dominic Breazeale on his resume. Joshua is the A-side and the money fighter it looks like all roads are going to go through him.
Deontay Wilder- WBC Heavyweight Champion- The Bronze Bomber is the veteran of this group having just turned 32, sports a flawless 38-0 (37) record. He holds the green strap and a bronze medal from the 2008 games. Wilder is often criticized for not having fought the highest level of competition and for throwing punches in a windmill typestyle. Truth is three other top tier heavies failed steroid tests entering fights with Wilder. The 6’7 wilder has gone the distance just once in 38 pro fights and the leverage he gets on his right hand has proven time and again he is never more than one right hand away from ending a fight.
Joeseph Parker-WBO Heavyweight Champion- The 6’4 245lb 25-year-old is the rawest of the champs but he is quietly putting together quite a resume, Hughie Fury, Andy Ruiz Jr and Carlos Takam. That’s probably more top-tier names than Wilder. He sports a perfect record of 24-0 (18) while raw he is showing marked improvement and sports good speed and power that was able to earn him close decisions over both Molina and Hughie Fury.
Tyson Fury- Lineal Heavyweight Champion- The man who beat the man. Less than two years ago a 27-year-old Fury was on top of the boxing kingdom after taking a clear-cut decision from Wladimir Klitschko. In the two years since the Chesire native has become a punch line, he has gained a ton of weight struggled with drugs retired and unretired and self-destructed. But, he is back now. The fact remains he is 6’9 weighs 245-250 and is the most skilled man in the division, he isn’t the biggest puncher but he is the most skilled, a complete fighter and if he is right mentally and physically and regains the form he had back in 2015 should be favored against everyone in the weight class.
Hughie Fury – The baby brother of the lineal champ and the baby of the group, barely 23 years old and perhaps should already be called a heavyweight champion, many that he was robbed in the Parker fight. He Has already demonstrated many of the abilities of his older brother. Controlled the pace in his matchup against Joseph Parker outlanded him and outboxed him and won the fight according to 3DBoxing 117-111. The two judges that scored the fighting 118-110 against him should be imprisoned. But a lesson should be learned for little brother, he needs to A. deepen his little brother complex, and B as a boxer-mover he needs to put more punches together, he isn’t going to score a ton of KO’s at a world-class level so he needs to win rounds clearly, he won rounds close on our scorecards but left room for doubt. At 6’6 and only 23, the sky is the limit and he certainly has the time and ability to gain multiple straps in the division
Dillian Whyte- The Wild Card of the Heavyweight division. The man no one really wants to fight. Gave AJ a pretty good tussle back in 2015 and since then has shown much improvement and has picked up quality victories over Dereck Chisora and most recently a near shutout over Robert Helenius. Whyte is willing to call out everyone including Bellew for free and of course Wilder who is demanding $7 million, which is basically Wilder’s way of ducking him and most recently Big Baby Miller. He also has Eddie Hearn working for him to get him those fights. Whyte would not be favored against anyone on this list, however, he is 250 pounds he has big power he is a pretty sound and complete offensive fighter he can give anyone on this list issues and he has the mouth to get under their skin.
Jarrell Miller- Brooklyn has been home to so many great Heavyweight Champs and it may have another one in its wings. Never has the heavyweight division seen anything like “Big Baby” Miller, a heavyweight who weighs anywhere from 275-300 lbs. He is somehow athletic at that size. Obviously, has tremendous power, pinpoint accuracy on his power shots and a ferocious body attack. Yes, he is very raw at this point and he needs to stay way more active. Having fought just once in the past 14 months, but that performance was scintillating, a destruction of Gerald Washington a very good heavyweight who had just given Wilder trouble for several rounds and most thoughts was well ahead on points before being knocked out. If Miller continues to stay active his natural ability and size may be too much for anyone in the division to handle.
With the seven names above the heavyweight division is in better shape then it has ever been before. That is without a doubt, it is now up to the fighters to put it on the line and fight each other and for the promoters to make these fights happen. There are enough fighters, youth and contrast in styles to keep this division interesting for the next decade and move boxing to the forefront.