16
Jun
2019

Fragmented, greed-hungry heavyweight division now the joke of boxing

Phil Jay 29/05/2019
Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury

📸 Esther Lin

Deontay Wilder’s decision to face Luis Ortiz in what can be described as an unwarranted rematch looks to be the straw that broke the camel’s back at 200 pounds plus.

The WBC heavyweight champion made an announcement on social media, which seemed directly aimed to coincide with Anthony Joshua’s fight week.

Further proof of a vast gulf between the pair even beginning to negotiate an undisputed unification clash.

Joshua had called for face-to-face talks just hours prior. Wilder then took the opportunity to pull the rug from under the Briton’s feet.

Boxing’s glamour weight class has quickly become the laughing stock of the sport. The top stars are deliberately and consistently being kept apart.

Four key situations immediately spring to mind, all of which have happened over the past few months.

A) Anthony Joshua drops Pay-Per-View and joins DAZN

A known bone of contention with Wilder, Joshua’s decision to campaign on a streaming service hasn’t gone down well with his American rival.

Wilder pines to be a PPV star and would need Joshua back fighting on Showtime in order to maximize revenue for the fight everyone wants.

Even an offer to become Joshua’s stablemate wasn’t enough for Wilder.

Money made by Floyd Mayweather when appearing on Showtime would be evidence enough for Wilder of which network he should be fighting on.

B) Tyson Fury signs with Top Rank

On the verge of giving fans another dose of entertainment following a draw with Wilder in December, Fury shocked when veering off to join Bob Arum.

Taking money and advice from Arum to specifically halt the Wilder return, Fury has been told not to face the ‘Bronze Bomber’ again until at least 2020.

joshua whyte weigh lustig
📸 Lawrence Lustig

C) Dillian Whyte’s WBC mandatory snub

Despite winning and defending the WBC Silver title and claiming the number one spot with victories over Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora, WBC chiefs decided to ratify Dominic Breazeale as the challenger to Wilder.

Whyte turning down an eliminator against Luis Ortiz, who had previously lost to Wilder, was cited as the specific reason by the WBC.

Harsh in the current climate. Whyte is judged to be the fourth best heavyweight on the planet by most.

Being pitched against Wilder by force would have softened the blow of Fury walking away.

D) Separate TV Deals

Wilder on Showtime, Joshua on DAZN and Fury on Top Rank will seemingly make it extraordinarily tough to get bouts over the line.

As things currently stand, Wilder, Joshua, Fury and Whyte are being kept apart by a number of factors. Most of which come down to TV stations raking in more cash.

The fragmentation of heavyweight boxing continues to disappoint each time either one of that quartet fail to confirm a fight with one another.

It doesn’t appear that anything will change anytime soon.


POTENTIAL NEXT THREE FIGHTS

Fury – Schwarz. Wilder. Wallin.

Joshua – Ruiz. Pulev. Usyk.

Wilder – Ortiz. Fury. Kownacki.

Whyte – Rivas. Povetkin. Parker.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay

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