Heavyweight action in July/August
By Gav Duthie: Over the course of the next two months boxing fans will get a chance to see no less than 9 hopefuls in action as we prepare for a new era post heavyweight domination of the Klitschko’s. As individuals I have been a big fan of the Ukrainian brothers. They’ve got class, dignity, speak 4 languages and they never trash talk.
It’s not their fault they are better than everyone else. That being said with Vitaly now retired and Wladimir soon to follow (I predict he will go if he wins the WBC) the heavyweight division will take a new shape and create much more interest with dozens of fighters looking to grab a title.
We have a new WBC champion in Bermane Stiverne, Deontay Wilder is breathing down his neck and through July and August many of the up and comers will have stern tests as the future of the heavyweight division begins to take shape.
Who from these has the potential to become a world champion?
In Chronological Order
Joseph Parker 8-0 (7) V Brian Minto 39-7 (25), July 5
The 22 year old looks to have a big future in the game. His biggest win to date came against Fran Botha. He landed a chopping overhand right to the usually durable Botha and finished him on the ropes with great hand speed. Parker is light on his feet and has a good jab. This is a good test against Brian Minto for his 9th fight. With a bit of discipline Minto could probably fight as a Cruserweight but he is very aggressive and will put Parker on the back foot. Minto also comes in confident off the back of an impressive win against Parker’s New Zealand compatriat Shane Cameron. This won’t prove if he’s a world beater but it should definitely tell us something.
Anthony Joshua 6-0 (6) V Matt Skelton 28-8 (23), July 12
Many will probably be disappointed at Anthony Joshua fighting a 47 year old almost twice his age. For any successful Olympian there is always an urgency from fans and media to step up quickly. However I feel this is a decent test. Matt has been a good British champion and even fought Chagaev for a world title. For Anthony’s 7th pro fight I have no complaints. Anthony’s jab will need to be on top form because if you let Skelton inside he can do some damage. I would imagine that the winner of Fury-Chisora will relinquish the British title and I would imagine Joshua would have his eye on that in a couple of fights time.
Tyson Fury 22-0 (16) v Dereck Chisora 20-4 (13), July 26
Being that 30 year old Chisora has already had a failed attempt for a heavyweight crown its probably wrong to call him a prospect. Saying that he certainly has been rejuvenated of late. His knockout loss to David Haye was a real crossroads in is career and he is now back on the right path. Chisora doesn’t have a huge skill level but when he trains hard and has a good engine, his pressure is relentless. Fury has beaten Chisora before but the Londoner did have his moments. Fury looked badly out of shape against Joey Abell last time out and it took him a couple of rounds to get rid of he ring rust. He was rumoured to have had a 10 round behind closed door fight with Carlos Takam in preparation so despite all the trash talk both guys seem to be taking this very seriously.
Bryant Jennings 18-0 (10) V Mike Perez 20-0-1 (12), July 26
With both undefeated, Jennings 29 years old and Perez 28, they are arguably both coming into their prime. Jennings might not have the knock out power of fellow American Deontay Wilder but the fact that he has went the distance a few times may work in his favour. Jennings has a good jab and decent hand speed. He can also mix it up on the inside and his most impressive punch is when he steps back with the right uppercut. Perez is also a good inside fighter. However seeing as the Cuban pulled out of this same fight fight earlier citing a shoulder injury and his last performance against Carlos Takam was below his usual standard I worry about him. I still think he may be in a fragile state of mind after what happened with previous opponent Abdusalamov ending up in a coma. Mike Perez had to put up with the usual twitter trolls who made it sound like he had jumped him in the street.
His trainer Abel Sanchez said
“The first couple of weeks was hard you know, because people were like look what you did. His family tried to make him understand its nothing he did on purpose and it could have happened to him”.
I hope Perez can focus fully on this fight and we see his best performance because I think whoever wins this fight will no doubt become a world champion.
Lucas Browne 20-0 (18) v Andriy Rudenko 26-0 (16), Aug 1
Another close contest. Both have impressive records but Browne has fought a better calibre of opponents. Rudenko was scheduled to fight Chisora a few months back for the European title. This would have been a major step up. The Ukrainian has earned rave reviews from his compatriots the Klitschko’s. I think Rudenko is in for a ‘Rude’ awakening. Thus far against Z level opposition he’s been strolling around the ring like he’s Roy Jones Jnr. His arms are often low and he walks willingly onto shots. When he is up against the likes of Browne he can’t disrespect him like that. Browne is 35 years old and doesn’t look in the best shape but he has great determination, stamina and is a good head hunter. He won’t give the Ukrainian any room to box and this could end up quite exciting.
Andy Ruiz Jnr 22-0 (16) V TBA, Aug 16
The 24 year old has a flawless record do date. Much like Lucas Browne he isn’t necessarily in great shape but he knows his boxing. Ruiz Jnr rarely takes a backward step and has decent head movement on the way in. He mixes his attacks quite well and is decent at cutting off the ring. Hopefully when his next opponent is announced it will be some worthwhile opposition.
This will be an interesting period with some big fights to come for the winners of these bouts. I think by the end of August we will know a lot more about the contenders and pretenders in the heavyweight division. It is quite likely in early 2015 that Bermane Stiverne will have faced Deontay Wilder for the WBC title and this week Ruslan Chagaev should have his WBA title back if he defeats Fres Oquendo as expected. I would imagine a lot of these prospects would fancy their chances at either of these titles.
- Anthony Joshua’ plans: Dillian Whyte in August & Deontay Wilder in December
- Who is the Real Heavyweight Champion?
- Anthony Joshua & Tyson Fury in talks for September fight at Wembley
- Tyson Fury looks worried, wants Usyk to fight at Wembley stadium