The heavyweight division is arguably in the best place that it has been in since the Mike Tyson-era.
Next year, we can expect all of Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Oleksandr Usyk, Andy Ruiz Jr, Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker to fight multiple times – hopefully against one another.
And that’s not to forget the man atop of rankings – champion Tyson Fury.
Since his incredible comeback from depression, alcoholism, drug abuse and weight gain, Fury’s two victories over Wilder have seen him enter the conversation of greatest heavyweight of all-time – and it’s a reasonable debate.
Standing at 6’9 and weighing around 270lbs – we have never seen a fighter quite like the Gypsy King. For a man of his measure to move how he does, whilst overcoming adversity, is nothing short of incredible.
If he continues down this path, Fury will surely be mentioned alongside Muhammed Ali, Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Although mentioning retirement on more than one occasion, Fury seems as motivated as ever to go down as one of the greatest of all-time.
And in order to do that, he’s going to need a few more scalps on his resume – something the 33-year-old has plenty of time to accomplish.
So what should he be targeting for 2022? Here’s a few things which could lead towards a perfect year for him.
Anthony Joshua defeating Oleksandr Usyk
When the Ukrainian defeated Joshua earlier this year, he really did shake up the heavyweight division.
It was a truly risky fight for Joshua to take – one he most likely will be regretting right now.
Joshua was on his way to the fight which the world has wanted to see for nearly five years – a bout with Fury.
With Fury contractually obligated to fight Wilder though, Joshua accepted a fight with the dangerous Usyk – who had moved up from cruiserweight.
After the loss, a fight with Fury in the near future became an impossible notion.
But with a rematch coming up, a fight between the two Brits would be back on the cards.
Fury has spoken about wanting to fight Joshua on numerous occasions – and with the world watching, he’ll want to make a statement.
It’s the fight he’ll be most motivated for.
Defeating Dillian Whyte and Usyk
It’s a cliché, but anything can happen in heavyweight boxing.
These guys walk around at around 250 to 280lbs. The power they possess is frightening – and one punch, or a cut (see Fury’s fight with Otto Wallin), can change everything.
However, Dillian Whyte should be a straight forward win for Fury.
He’s stronger, quicker, slicker and the bigger puncher.
It’s a fight that looks destined to happen, and one Fury will look to get out of the way.
Usyk, though, presents a very difficult challenge.
He’s the only boxer in the division who genuinely could outbox Fury, and is quicker than the Gypsy King.
Usyk is far and away the most dangerous opponent for Fury – and one which he’ll want to get out of the ring early.
If Usyk is to beat Joshua, a fight between the two is seemingly inevitable.
Deontay Wilder making a comeback
The Fury-Deontay Wilder trilogy will go down as one of the greatest of all-time.
And whilst Fury was the victor in two on paper, and in all three in most people’s minds, Wilder should not be slighted for his part.
A different referee could have quite easily waved the first fight off after Fury was knocked down and looked out cold before he rose back to his feet.
And let’s not forget how badly he had Fury hurt in the third fight, too.
Deontay Wilder deserves tonnes of respect.
If the rumours are true, Wilder is to face Andy Ruiz Jr next year. Should he defeat him, he could be in line for a fight against an Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk or Joseph Parker.
A winning streak for Wilder would only further Fury’s legacy, with fans recognising Wilder for what he is – one of the great power punchers in heavyweight boxing history.
When Wilder wins, Tyson Fury wins.
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