The heavyweight division has always been the sport of boxing’s showpiece weight class. When you think of the division, some incredible boxers of times gone by instantly spring to mind, namely Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, while you can easily envisage some of the greatest fights that Madison Square Garden or Las Vegas have ever seen, many of which are still shown time and again on the sports channels.
Even in the modern era, the heavyweight division stands head and shoulders above the rest. Just in the last couple of months, we have been treated to two top class fights. Against all the odds on sites like Betdaq, Oleksandr Usyk beat Anthony Joshua after a grueling 12 rounds at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while Tyson Fury ended his trilogy with Deontay Wilder with an emphatic knockout in the 11th round.
With the heavyweight dynamics changing drastically this year, now seems like the perfect time to rank the top five current fighters in the division. Read on to find out more.
1. Tyson Fury – WBC and The Ring heavyweight champion
Top of our list is none other than ‘The Gypsy King’. Unbeaten in his 32 fights to date, boasting a record of 31-0-1, it’s hard to argue against the 33-year-old being the best heavyweight in the world. His return to the sport in 2018 after a tough three years away and his meteoric rise back to the top has been sensational. He looked as good as ever in his recent victory over Wilder — recovering well from a shock knockdown and dispatching of the American in style later in the fight. It looks like Dillian Whyte is next for Fury, with the winner of Usyk and Joshua’s rematch to follow.
2. Oleksandr Usyk–WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion
It goes without saying that many criminally underestimated Usyk ahead of his blockbuster bout with Joshua in North London back in September, with the Brit himself perhaps not paying the Ukrainian the respect he deserved. It was a fantastic performance from the former cruiserweight champion as he outclassed Joshua in every aspect to lure away his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. A victory in his rematch over Joshua will only see the 19-0 fighter’s stock rise even further and the anticipation for a unification bout against Fury would be huge!
3. Anthony Joshua
Dropping down the rankings after his defeat to Usyk, Joshua now finds himself with two losses on his boxing CV and with an uphill struggle to regain his heavyweight belts from his Ukrainian foe. Of course, this is a position the 32-year-old has been in before when he was stunned by Andy Ruiz Jr. before redeeming himself in the rematch. But his current situation doesn’t look to be as straight forward as that, with Usyk proving to be a much tougher opponent than the out-of-shape Mexican. He is presented with the biggest challenge of his career, and if he wants to prove he is a true great, then he needs to win his rematch against Usyk.
4. Deontay Wilder
‘The Bronze Bomber’ may not have won any of his three fights against Fury, coming away from arguably the biggest trilogy of the modern era with nothing more than two defeats and a draw. However, in their recent fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas, Wilder won over lots of boxing fans for his admirable performance against the Brit — proving that he can pair that dangerous right hand with actual ability. It’s unclear what’s next for the 36-year-old now his record stands at 42-2-1, but we’re sure his fighting days aren’t over just yet.
5. Dillian Whyte
In a similar place to where Joshua is now following a brutal knockout to Alexander Povetkin at Matchroom Sport Headquarters last August, Whyte needed to bounce back with a victory in his rematch against the Russian in Gibraltar, and he did just that — ending the bout via TKO in the fourth round. The WBC interim heavyweight champion was supposed to fight Otto Wallin at the end of October, but a shoulder injury ruled the Brit out of that fight. Hopefully his potential bout with Fury will still get the go-ahead from the WBC to take place next year.