With Tyson Fury making his feelings on the state of the Heavyweight division perfectly clear last week, as the boxing world marked the anniversary of the fighter’s famous win over Wladimir Klitschko last month, some of the upcoming fights will be looking to restore some excitement and dignity to the division given recent goings on.
The likes of Anthony Joshua, David Haye, Tyson’s cousin Hughie Fury and Deontay Wilder are all in action over the coming months, with plenty of potential crowd pleasing high-stake encounters in the offing. With Joseph Parker already winning the WBO World Title in a tightly fought bout against Andy Ruiz Jr. there are almost too many names being banded around for prospective fights for the belts within the Heavyweight division.
With Joshua having overcome Mexican Eric Molina in impressive fashion earlier this month, his much-publicised bout with Klitschko next year has already got tongues wagging, with the boxing betting market for 2017 already looking exciting.
IBF Champion Joshua is the favourite with bookmakers Coral to overcome Klitschko, and with 80,000 fans plus expected to fill out Wembley Stadium in London for the encounter, the pressure will be on the former Olympic gold medalist to match Fury’s performance against the former champion. The Ukrainian has not fought since losing the IBF, WBA and WBO belts to Fury back in November last year, and the 40-year-old has, quite boldly, no plans to take to the ring before meeting the former Olympic gold medallist.
Meanwhile, former Heavyweight Champion David Haye takes on compatriot Tony Bellew at London’s O2 Arena in March, with the duo already having had some explosive meetings in the build up to the contest. Despite Haye being 1/6 on in the boxing betting odds with Coral to overcome Bellew, many are predicting a close encounter regardless of the fact Bellew will be coming up from Crusierweight for this specially sanctioned bout. Haye has his heart set on another all-British contest with Joshua should he overcome Bellew, although fans may have to wait around 12 months for such a contest. In the meantime, the previously touted bout against American Shannon Briggs may well come round again if Haye does impress againt Bellew.
Although currently under suspension, and having vacated his World titles, Fury is expected/hoped to return to action in 2017, with a whole host of fighters throwing their names into the ring as potential opponents. Having sent messages of support to Fury following his recent troubles, Deontay Wilder would perhaps be a likely opponent, with the duo having already clashed in the ring following the American’s win over Artur Szpilka back in January. Despite this encounter perhaps being more likely, Coral have opened up the betting for a potential clash between Fury and Joshua, with Joshua the favourite in the boxing betting odds at present.
One thing is for sure, the landscape has changed drastically since Fury dislodged the belts from Wladimir Klitschko’s waist, and, by the time (if he does indeed) Fury returns, he could have some going to chase down all of his belts he had to vacate.
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December 22, 2016