It’s been a long, arduous steady rise since the Heavyweight division tanked out and hit rock-bottom approximately a decade ago, however slowly over the last few years, new talent has emerged from the amateur ranks to take over the division, blending in with a healthy mix of veteran hold-overs who can still box at a high level, and with the addition of a few prominent Cruiserweight’s who are looking to shoot their shot, thus culminating in a Heavyweight cast that is a very good, and interesting division once again. What do we have in the mix? we have…
3 Olympic Gold-Medalists
1 Olympic Bronze-Medalist
1 Reigning Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion
2 Boxers Who Defeated Future Hall-of-Famer Wladimir Klitschko
1 former Lineal Champion
6 Current or Former Title Holders
4 Current or Former Unified Champions
Anthony Joshua is a Gold-Medalist, who sits atop the division by possessing 3 belts, (WBA, WBO, IBF), and has the status of being one of the 2 biggest money draws in the sport.
Deontay Wilder (WBC Champion) will never be a polished boxer due to his late start, however his grit, fortitude, athleticism and punching power are completely unmatched, making him one of the most dangerous fighters in boxing for anyone to face.
Tyson Fury before an abrupt retirement became the Lineal Champion of the world when he dethroned long reigning Champion Wladimir Klitschko. Upon his return, he is trying to reclaim that positioning once again to recapture what he once had.
As for Luis Ortiz, no one really knows how old he is, but he’s still quick for a big man, fundamentals are still up to par, and he can still box.
New edition and Cruiserweight King Oleksandr Usyk has no weaknesses, can do it all, and is looked at as one of the best boxers in the world, with some pundits even seeing him as thee best. His major challenge for the division will be how he circumvents his future opponents size discrepancies to utilize the skill advantage that he has over everyone else.
Usyk’s Cruiserweight rival Murat Gassiev has also made the jump up to Heavyweight, and he certainly has the one punch knockout power to aid him in his efforts, while he has a multitude of different skills to hang his hat on.
While Alexander Povetkin hasn’t exactly had the most eventful pro career, that doesn’t speak to the level that he fights at, and he has proven to be a very good fighter, even at this stage of his career.
As for Dillian Whyte, there are very few fighters in the last 5 years that has improved more than he has. Since his defeat to Joshua back in 2015, he has elevated his skills drastically, turning him into a major player in the division.
Jarrell Miller has become a polarizing figure, with not much, to very little merit to the negative critique passed on his way. Too much is made of what his numbers on the weight scale says, blinding people from the reality that for such a massive individual, he is very nimble on his feet, with quality reflexes, upper body movement, and possesses the best stamina in the Heavyweight division despite him hovering around 300 lbs.
Michael Hunter is another talented former Cruiserweight who made the jump up. The son of former contender Mike ‘The Bounty’ Hunter only has one loss to his record, that coming against Usyk. Joseph Parker and Adam Kownacki are more-so middle of the pack Heavyweights, however it speaks to the health of the division that these 2 fighters are looked at as fringe top-10, with them being respectable fighters in their own right.
PROGNOSIS…the Heavyweght division is a healthy one. While a fight or two is taking too long to manifest, we now have enough depth to still get some big time quality matches to happen while things are sorted out to make those other marquee fights materialize.