The heavyweight landscape is ready for a dramatic change, the new breed
The Great British stronghold on boxing’s heavyweight division has been evident since 2015.
Since Tyson Fury took the unified heavyweight crown from Wladimir Klitschko seven years ago, there’s only been a few months at a time that the UK hasn’t boasted a top division champion.
Fury reigned until 2016 the first time around before eventually being stripped of three title belts. Anthony Joshua picked up his first heavyweight crown not much more than six months later.
AJ kept a firm grip on the strap for two years before a loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019. Joshua managed to win the straps back before dropping them again to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021.
Now, the United Kingdom is preparing for the potential of not having a world heavyweight champion by 2023.
Joshua is favored by bookies to lose to Usyk in the rematch. While Fury could retire after fights against Dillian Whyte, Usyk, and potentially Joshua by next year.
It’s a long shot, but you cannot rule out Usyk holding all four titles by the middle of 2023. It’s a notion that seemed unfathomable a year ago.
Both Fury and Joshua would be out of the picture as Usyk embarks on a round of mandatory challenges as the undisputed champion. It was breed the dawn of a new era.
Top contenders Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois would be line for chances to put the UK back on top. While Filip Hrgovic and Tony Yoka would also be in a position to challenge by then.
Riding the rails would be Jared Anderson, Frank Sanchez, Zhan Kossobutskiy, Ivan Dychko, and other pretenders to the crown.
Like when Klitschko reigned supreme, the top division stagnates once again. Joshua’s previous domination and lack of substantial name opponents began to make the weight class stale again. Add to that the inactivity of Fury, and it’s not a good mix for the avid boxing fan.
With Usyk in charge, that could all change, though. It would reenergize the glamor division once again. Usyk is fun, exciting, and one of the most talented boxers ever to lace up a pair of gloves. He has the potential to be around for years to come.
Fights like Usyk vs. Anderson and Hrgovic already get the blood pumping. Therefore, when that change of the guard does come, the fans and media will most welcome it.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.
Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.