The winner of next month's clash between undefeated heavyweights Tyson Fury (19-0, 14 KO's) and Denis Boytsov (31-0, 25 KO's) will likely be the World Boxing Council's (WBC) mandatory challenger for the organization's Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko (42-2, 41 KO).
The world title eliminator, Fury vs Boytsov, will take place December 1st at the Odyssey Arena, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.
Tyson Fury is ranked ranked No. 4 by WBC while Boytsov is rated No. 3 by the same organization.
The WBC's top heavyweights are ranked as follows:
CHAMPION: Vitali Klitschko
1. Chris Arreola
2. Bermane Stiverne
3. Denis Boytsov
4. Tyson Fury
5. Tony Grano
6. Luis Ortiz
7. Tomasz Adamek
8. Manuel Charr
9. Magomed Abdusalamov
10. Odlanier Solis
11. Kubrat Pulev
12. Andrew Wawrzyk
13. Francesco Pianeta
14. Alexander Dimitrenko
15. Kvotaro Fujimoto
Are either Fury and Boytsov ready for a fighter as seasoned as Vitali Klitschko? Although 41, the WBC Champion is on a 13 fight win streak and has shown few signs of slowing.
Because of his size, Fury would match-up better with the elder Klitschko. And although both fighters would represent a stiffer challenge than Vitali's most recent opponent, Manuel Charr, neither is a serious threat.
But Klitchko vs Fury is anything but guaranteed. To get that all-important title shot against Vitali, Tyson Fury, rated No. 7 by BoxRec, will have to defeat Denis Boytsov... No easy task. And given Fury's recent visits to the canvas against lesser opponents, it will be interesting to see how he handles Boytsov's aggression and punching power.
On the other side, Boystov, rated No. 20 by BoxRec, is facing a fighter 8-9 inches taller with a much longer reach who possesses "some" technical polish. For his size, the 6'9" Tyson Fury is agile and limber and will certainly enjoy a big size advantage over his Russian-born foe.
The bigger, more publicized, more lucrative bout is easily Klitschko vs Fury as the 24 year old Brit is extremely popular yet controversial and somewhat infamous in the UK. Moreover, Tyson's family has a long history in boxing and bare knuckle boxing. His cousin is middleweight contender Andy Lee and, not ironically, he's named after Mike Tyson, the heavyweight champion of the world at the time of Tyson Fury's birth.
But Tyson Fury, at least today, is a far cry from his namesake and would likely be a heavy underdog against WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko.
The 6'7 1/2" Klitschko has won and astonishing 45 of 47 bouts, amassing 41 knockouts along the way. In his most recent bout, he stopped 28 year old previously unbeaten but untested Manuel Charr. Prior to the Charr bout, Klitschko won an action-packed twelve round affair over the hard-nosed Dereck Chisora in Munich last February.
An aggressive fighter who often engages his opponents, Vitali Klitschko is a professional of 16 years with extensive amateur experience. The Ukrainian has an 87% knockouts-to-fights ratio, the highest of any heavyweight champion in history. Always well-prepared and in excellent shape, the awkward Kitschko has an unusual fighting style and is difficult to hit cleanly.
Many believed Vitali Klitschko's his win over Charr in September would serve as his final bout as the 41 year old two-time heavyweight champion had made it no secret he's looking to transition into politics to focus more on the worsening situation in his native Ukraine.
Last month, however, Vitali Klitschko strongly denied retirement rumors. And given his politically party didn't fair was well as projected in October's elections and the probability of a high-money megafight with David Haye on the horizon, its conceivable Vitali will fight at least twice more.
If Vitali hasn't retired by December, he'll likely meet the winner of Fury vs Boytsov in March.