Potential Wilder vs Fury fight speaks to depth of heavyweight divisionWritten by Baker Geist
Much like the delays felt from the on-again off-again negotiations that plagued a Manny Pacquiao Floyd Mayweather mega fight for years, the reports surfacing that former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and current WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder might be headed to a November showdown have probably elicited many groans from fight fans waiting to see Wilder and IBO, IBF, WBO, and WBA champion Anthony Joshua battle for heavyweight supremacy.
The heavyweight division certainly has more life in it then it did in the mid-2000s when Wladimir Klitschko laid waste to every contender placed in front of him.
Alexander Povetkin, Dillian Whyte, Dominic Breazeale, Joseph Parker, Fury, Luis Ortiz, they all have the opportunity to create interesting fights in the heavyweight division — either amongst themselves or against Wilder or Joshua.
The realization that both Joshua and Wilder don’t immediately need each other to keep the heavyweight division buzzing may mean the two keep taking fights against other opposition before stepping in the ring against each other.
That’s a good thing.
A rematch between Luis Ortiz and Wilder would certainly be interesting, as would a fight between Wilder and Breazeale. Since losing to Joshua in 2016, Breazeale has won an entertaining slugfest with Izuagbe Ugonoh before stopping Carlos Molina. Although some may argue that those opponents aren’t on the level of Wilder, Breazeale has done everything necessary to remain a viable option.
After he fights Povetkin in September, Joshua may not have as many options. But, given his vast popularity in the U.K., he may be able to sit patiently, fighting who and when he chooses, knowing that 80 to 90 thousand fans will be waiting to buy tickets.
Every boxing observer wants to see an epic showdown between Joshua and Wilder and understandably so. A competitive heavyweight title fight, which would crown an undisputed heavyweight champion, would mean a great deal to the sport of boxing and to the individual legacies of the two participants.
Before an actual fight can take place, the business side must be ironed out. It’s easy to get lost in the endless blame game of Wilder doesn’t want the fight or Joshua’s scared. None of that is the case. They’re each looking for the best deal before signing off on what will be the biggest fight of their careers.
While they both iron out the details, let’s enjoy the state of heavyweight boxing as it is today.
Is any potential heavyweight fight as big as a Wilder vs. Joshua showdown? No.
However, the fact that there are plenty of intriguing fights to be made in the meantime that don’t rely on those two exclusively, speaks to the depth of the division and the positive strides that have been made to usher in its resurgence.