Lennox Lewis was the last heavyweight to claim all the belts. Ahead of Usyk vs Joshua 2, who will follow the British legend?
World Boxing News has made a big point of keeping tabs on just how many boxers have the opportunity to become the next undisputed champion.
Prior to 2022, there were eight top division title-holders or contenders involved in what is an unofficial tournament.
All eight had a chance through arranged bouts and organization stipulations. That was until Dillian Whyte was beaten by Tyson Fury.
It was initially thought that Deontay Wilder would then be pushed forward by the World Boxing Council as their mandatory. Confirmation came this week that this would not be the case for the American puncher.
Instead, Wilder faces Robert Helenius in an eliminator. Andy Ruiz Jr. battles Luis Ortiz is another. The winners could meet for the vacant title if Fury moves on in eight days’ time.
This means the competition for ultimate heavyweight supremacy drops to seven fighters. They are Usyk, Joshua, Wilder, Ruiz, Ortiz, Helenius, and Fury [unless he retires]
Fury and Usyk hold all the titles between them. Therefore, any opponent involved with the pair can lay claim to following the last great champion to claim all the major belts in Lennox Lewis.
Tyson Fury’s WBC title
Fury has an obligation to the WBC on August 26. This means the list could be down to five after Usyk vs Joshua 2.
Two of those three may well be out of the picture.
At present, we are looking at around twelve months before the culmination of the new heavyweight tournament.
Fury retiring and Usyk beating Joshua would leave Wilder vs Helenius and Ruiz vs Ortiz to be completed in the fall.
If those favorites also won, there’d be Usyk, Wilder, and Ruiz left. Wilder vs Ruiz could happen for the vacant WBC title in the first part of 2023.
Usyk would have a mandatory before he could then face the winner for all the belts in the fall of 2023.
Furthermore, it’s a mouth-watering prospect to crown one sole ruler in the most lucrative weight class of all.
Unofficial undisputed tournament dates
Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 – Aug 20
Tyson Fury retires, WBC title vacant? – Aug 26
Andy Ruiz Jr. vs Luis Ortiz – Sept 4
Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius – Oct 15
Usyk mandatory – Early 2023
Wilder/Helenius vs Ruiz/Ortiz – Early 2023 [vacant WBC title?]
Usyk/mandatory winner vs Wilder/Ruiz/Helenius/Ortiz – Fall of 2023
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.