Boxing’s Heavyweight Division on TnS #59 – This latest TalknShoot Podcast is dedicated to the Heavyweight Division as we head into the 2018 calendar year. The first quarter of the year has two world title fights signed and ready to happen and a look at those fights starts off the podcast about the “big boys.”
IBF and WBA world champion Anthony Joshua has already separated himself from the pack in the weight class. Joshua is scheduled to defend his IBF and WBA world title against the challenge of Joseph Parker on March 31st. Parker is bringing the WBO world title to the table, so a win will leave Joshua with three of the four major world titles. If you think that is writing Parker off with no respect, you would be correct. The sports books have installed Joshua as a major favorite and that line will probably widen before fight time.
The WBC world title will be at play on March 3rd when champion Deontay Wilder defends his title against the challenge of Luis Ortiz. Wilder is entering the fight a heavy favorite and a win will set up a showdown with Joshua. Or does it?
Wilder is the lone American world champion and he wants to dispatch Ortiz and then face Joshua. It would be a huge money fight for Wilder, something that has eluded him. He would be willing to go to England and Las Vegas would love to host the fight, but all those things could be worked out. Wilder needs Joshua after Ortiz, there are no other real opponents for him.
That is not the case with Joshua. If Joshua gets by Parker as expected, he will call all the shots for his next fight. And there will be no shortage of opponents right there in England that he could fight while putting Wilder on ice.
David Haye and Tony Bellew are slated for a rematch in May. Haye is a former champion who returned after a long layoff to try to grab a big money fight. Bellew derailed his plans by taking him out in their meeting back in March of last year. Haye counts on a big following and if he beats Bellew, he will be a tempting opponent for Joshua. Should Bellew win he can also be expected to lobby for a Joshua fight though he may be less appealing than Haye to the champ and promoter Eddie Hearn.
Dillian Whyte has been painted as a Joshua arch-rival from their amateur days and his showing in their first fight didn’t hurt him. He has not lost since though his performances have ranged from lackluster to good, he could still earn a Joshua rematch if he just keeps winning. He faces undefeated Australian Lucas Browne on March 24th in a match that puts Whyte is his first “big” main event.
And then there is former champion Tyson Fury. Fury has started training again and has applied for a new license to box. He is an undefeated former champion who is still under 30 years old and truthfully, he may be the most dangerous opponent of all for Joshua. And what may be worse news for Deontay Wilder is that Fury is probably going to mean bigger money for Joshua than the Wilder fight will and that may leave the American waiting.
Don’t miss the rest of the Heavyweight Talk on TalknShoot.
Boxing’s Heavyweight Division on TnS #59 / Check out more boxing news and features at The Sweet Science.
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