Unless you have been living under a rock, you surely had to have heard about the dramatic and sensational heavyweight title fight that took place on December 1st in Los Angeles.
Inside of the Staples Center, and on SHOWTIME pay per view, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and former lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury engaged in a tactical, entertaining, and sometimes thrilling battle that resulted in a split draw verdict.
By most accounts of members of the press, it was Fury (27-0-1, 19 KO’s) who did enough after 12 rounds of action to secure the victory, despite suffering knockdowns in rounds eight and 12. Still, if you are a Wilder supporter, there is reason enough to believe he did enough to warrant the win, especially based on the pair of knockdowns. Scorecards reading 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 Fury, and 113-113 saw the contest end on even terms.
Both men are coming away with their stocks raised, but it was Fury who seemed to win the drama of the fighter. Especially in that epic 12th round, as the British fighter was rocked and dropped by a combination, only to rise just before the count of 10 and miraculously finish the fight. Wilder too remains a huge star, one who sees his stock growing ever more.
But who is the best heavyweight on the planet? Negotiations appear to be on their way for an immediate rematch between both men, but we can’t overlook the man in the division who hold three of the major belts, IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
For much of last year the boxing world waited on pins and needles to see if Joshua and Wilder were going to unify the division, to no avail. Joshua instead won a points verdict over former champion Joseph Parker in March and defeated former champion Alexander Povetkin via seventh round TKO in September.
Joshua is now slated for an April 13 return in London, and the rumor on the street is that he could be facing the winner of this month’s rematch between Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has let it be known that his side is still interested in facing Wilder, but he has also taken some shots at both Wilder and Fury in the press.
As he is supposed to do, Hearn is backing Joshua as the sport’s top heavyweight and claims that his man will knock Wilder “spark” out if given the opportunity. Hearn also takes offense to Fury calling himself the lineal champion of the world, as he feels the fact that Fury tested positive for banned substances is more than enough reason to remove that title from him.
Either way you look at it, we have three prime heavyweights who all have a say towards being the best in the division.
Joshua has great experience, including a victory of Wladimir Klitschko, as well as power and youth on his side. Fury was an enigma at the beginning of the year, but he truly has written a comeback story. His size, boxing ability, and mental toughness put him in a rare class. And Wilder appears to be the biggest puncher of the three and will surely only learn from his most recent fight with Fury.
It’s really a toss-up at this point. The only way to find out is to have them all fight one another at some point.