Boxing is alive and well all over the world.
All you have to do is look at some current trends to get a sense of how things are moving. In Dallas, Texas, over 47,000 people were present when hometown hero Errol Spence defended his IBF welterweight title inside of the AT&T Stadium vs. Mikey Garcia on FOX pay per view. There are also constantly huge shows with large audiences taking place overseas as well.
And the money that fighters are making is almost at a record high for standard prizefighting, largely in part to the emergence of the DAZN streaming app.
It’s a good time to be a fighter and you can almost throw it back to the old days, as now we are witnessing a new era in the heavyweight division. The division was once ruled tediously by brother Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, but things have since changed dramatically.
On the forefront are three big names who fans seem split upon as to who to favor. Anthony Joshua is the darling of the UK scene and lays claim to the IBF, WBA, and WBO titles. Deontay Wilder is charismatic as they come and is also the WBC heavyweight champion. And Tyson Fury, who last year completed a remarkable comeback to the sport, is the former lineal champion who has once again thrust his name towards the top of the division.
Fury and Wilder engaged in a memorable fight this past December that ended up as a split-draw. Fury seemed to be the better boxer, but a pair of knockdowns from Wilder evened things up a bit.
But instead of seeing an immediate rematch, or either man facing Joshua next, the heavyweights are moving in different directions. Joshua faces unbeaten American Jarrell Miller on DAZN in his next fight in New York this coming June. Fury signed an exclusive pact with Top Rank and will be fighting in Vegas, also in June, on ESPN or ESPN +. And on May 18, Wilder looks set for a meeting with his rival Dominc Breazeale, possibly on SHOWTIME pay per view.
If all three men continues to fight on different platforms, other suitable opponents will have to emerge. There are plenty of talented heavyweights out there, and when looking at the division, one dark horse comes to mind; former American Olympian Mike Hunter.
Hunter has a 16-1 record with 11 knockouts, but it’s a bit deceiving. For one, his only loss was a tough decision to Oleksandr Usyk, the man who went on to unify the cruiserweight division and claim the World Boxing Super Series trophy as well. Hunter gave Usyk one of his toughest fights and stood tall for 12 rounds.
After that loss, a move to heavyweight followed, where Hunter has put in some great work, reeling off victories over Iago Kiladze, previously unbeaten Martin Bakole Ilunga, and most recently veteran Alexander Ustinov. Hunter is tough, has top amateur experience, as well as great boxing IQ and ability.
There were recent rumors of Hunter possibly facing former champion Alexander Povetkin in his next fight, but nothing official as of yet. But be sure to stay tuned for any news on Hunter, as he is one to watch in the heavyweight class.