The Boxing world is recovering still after Anthony Joshua’s shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. Just days before the heavyweight contest at Madison Square Garden on June 1st, the questions were about when Joshua, Fury and Wilder were going to face each other.
Fast forward to June 2nd and the UK was waking up to the news that the darling of British boxing, the kingpin, the gamechanger that is Anthony Joshua had been emphatically beaten by the Mexican, written off for his rotund shape.
Over to the fellow Brit, Tyson Fury, who was making his Las Vegas debut just two weeks after the upset. No such talk in Vegas though, as Tyson Fury showed the gulf in class between himself and opponent Tom Schwarz with a second-round knockout.
The division has had a seismic shock in the last couple of weeks. With a rematch clause triggered almost instantly by promoter Eddie Hearn, Joshua has the chance to redeem himself with a win over the current IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO world champion Andy Ruiz Jr. However, questions arose after the former Olympic gold medallist seemed to have no ‘plan B’ against his Mexican counterpart.
So, who is the best heavyweight on the planet right now? It’s hard to look past Tyson Fury as the man to beat after his performance against Deontay Wilder back in late 2018. With the rematch reportedly made for Spring 2020, Fury could be crowned WBC champion should he avoid Wilder’s monstrous power.
In all of this chaos, the man who shocked the world seems to have been forgotten already. Andy Ruiz Jr. did not just get lucky against Anthony Joshua, he systematically broke the former world champion down after climbing off the canvas early in the third round. Ruiz also ran Joseph Parker close in a bout that was closer than expected for the New Zealander back in late 2016.
The Mexican showed on more than one occasion, that muscles and body types do not win fights. Ridiculed in pockets of the world’s media, Ruiz could have the last laugh if he beats Joshua again to retain all his belts in the biggest fight of the year.
Wilder is also due to be back in action later this year, as he looks to erase the blemish on his record that is Luis Ortiz. Ortiz seemed to trouble Wilder several times in their last fight, before being knocked out in the latter rounds by the man from Alabama.
The next level down from the elite world level lies the likes of Dillian Whyte. The heavy hitting South London man is still waiting for his shot at the WBC crown after being frozen out of the division in recent months. He has to come through a tough test in July against the underrated Oscar Rivas in London.
After months of little movement and fans becoming increasingly impatient with the heavyweight division, the events of recent weeks have opened the division up once more. That can only be a good thing for fight fans worldwide.
Where next for heavyweight boxing?