The Return Of The Heavyweights: 6 Fighters Who Are Resurrecting Boxing’s Heavyweight Division
It’s no secret that fans love the unique action and adrenaline brought about by boxing’s talented heavyweight fighters. There’s just something about two very large guys wailing their heavy hands at each other without caution. For one, it produces some spectacular knockouts. However, gone are the days of Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Riddick Bowe.
Over the past two decades, boxing’s highest weight class has been trumped by action in the lighter weight divisions. The 2000’s were dominated by the world-famous Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali, who saw no equal and faced very little challenge in the squared circle.
But with time comes age and as the two brothers slowly faded away, a new crop of talent has surfaced.
We are now in the new era of heavyweight boxing. It’s time to revisit boxing’s glory division and check out some of the fresh new talent forging a path of greatness with every performance.
If you haven’t been following the heavyweights recently, perhaps it’s time to have a look. Today, Evolve Vacation shares six fighters who are leading the way for the heavyweight division’s return to glory.
1) Anthony Joshua
Emerging as one of the most popular sports superstars in the United Kingdom, undefeated 28-year-old British boxer Anthony Joshua is larger than life. He is a 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist and today a unified world champion in boxing, holding the IBF, IBO, and WBA world heavyweight titles.
The 6’6” behemoth is unbeaten, with a professional clip of 21 wins and no losses. Even more noteworthy is Joshua’s immense power, which has resulted in 20 of his career victories to date having come impressively by knockout.
In April of 2017, Joshua scored the most significant win of his career to date — an 11th round technical knockout over the great Wladimir Klitschko, which effectively sent the elder veteran into retirement before a capacity crowd of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London.
Right now, the clamor is for Joshua to face the second man on this list, who is equally as impressive and possibly with more charisma to boot.
2) Deontay Wilder
For the longest time, the United States of America has searched for its next great heavyweight boxing champion. In 2015, this thirst was quenched with the emergence of Deontay Wilder, a 32-year-old former high school basketball player turned professional boxer.
As an amateur, Wilder nabbed a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic games, earning him the nickname of “Bronze Bomber”. Today, Wilder holds the WBC heavyweight title, which he lifted from Bermane Stiverne in his first world title fight back in January of 2015.
Wilder currently sports an impressive 40-0 record, with 39 of his victories coming inside the distance. After his TKO of Stiverne in a 2017 rematch, Wilder owned the distinction of having stopped every opponent who has ever climbed into the ring with him.
His knockout-to-win ratio currently stands at 97.5%, having notably finished 19 of his opponents in the first round. He is also a two-time Premier Boxing Champions “Knockout of the Year” awardee, having won the honor in 2016 and 2017.
3) Joseph Parker
Joseph Parker is a professional boxer from New Zealand and is the reigning WBO world heavyweight champion. Known by his honorary Samoan matai title, Lupesoliai La’auli, Parker has amassed an impressive 24-1 record over the course of a short six-year professional career thus far. 18 of his 24 wins have come by knockout.
He recently held a slew of regional heavyweight titles including the WBO Oriental, Africa, and Oceania heavyweight titles, as well as the PABA, OPBF, and New Zealand titles. During his amateur days, Parker represented his country in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the super-heavyweight division.
In 2016, Parker became a world champion for the very first time, defeating Andy Ruiz Jr. by 12-round Majority Decision. The win saw him become the first New Zealand and Pacific Island boxer in history to have won a major world title.
4) Luis “King Kong” Ortiz
38-year-old Cuban professional boxer Luis Ortiz is paving the way for Cuban heavyweight boxing with his thunderous power and unrivaled toughness. Aptly nicknamed, “King Kong”, Ortiz is known for his formidable punching and brute strength.
With a professional record of 28-1 including 24 knockouts, Ortiz is a former WBA interim heavyweight titleholder and former WBC heavyweight title challenger. As an amateur, Ortiz scored the silver medal at the 2005 Boxing World Cup held in Moscow, Russia.
Up until earlier this March, Ortiz was undefeated as he headed into a mega showdown with American Deontay Wilder. Although Wilder won the bout via late technical knockout, Ortiz gave Wilder the toughest test of his career, nearly stopping him with a knockout scare in the seventh round of their matchup.
5) Alexander Povetkin
38-year-old Russian heavyweight behemoth Alexander Povetkin has been a fixture in boxing’s heavyweight division over the past few years. Considered a perennial contender to any heavyweight crown, Povetkin owns a 34-1 record including 24 knockouts. He is also a former professional kickboxer.
Povetkin previously held the WBA heavyweight title, which he surrendered to legend Wladimir Klitschko in 2013. As an amateur fighter, Povetkin won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, as well as a gold medal at the 2003 World Championships held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Povetkin is well-known as one of the most physically imposing, strong-willed, and heavy-handed fighters in his weight class. He is currently the WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion and the WBO International Heavyweight Champion. He is set to defend his titles against David Price later this month.
6) Tyson Fury
Undefeated British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury is best known for his charismatic personality more than for his boxing skill, but the hard-hitting 7-foot monster is one of the most exciting boxers today.
With an unblemished 25-0 record which includes 18 knockouts, Fury previously held the IBF, IBO, WBA, and WBO world heavyweight titles following a shock unanimous decision victory over legend Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.
Unfortunately, an anti-doping scandal saw Fury vacate his titles and shortly after was also stripped of his boxing license. On January 2018 however, three years after his last professional bout, Fury announced on Twitter that he would be making a comeback and reapplying for his license.
The Evolve Vacation Training Program offers travelers the extraordinary opportunity of a lifetime to train under the largest collection of World Champions on the planet and to explore the hidden treasures of one of the most incredible cities in Asia. Through this very unique program, we have redefined the meaning of “vacation” by creating a truly inspirational, life-changing experience for all overseas visitors from around the world. In addition to the traditional vacation sightseeing, relaxation, beach activities, and cultural exploration, we offer travelers the rare opportunity to train martial arts alongside the Evolve Fight Team, Asia’s most decorated professional fight team, as well as the legendary, world-renowned Evolve Instructor Team.