The Heavyweight Division: Why The Top Three Should Hold Out Before Facing Each Other
By Matthew Rosati: I am as big a fan of anyone when it comes to boxing, and big fight announcements make my day sometimes; I love when the best fight the best. However, when it comes to the heavyweight division, maybe I’m crazy, but I think Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, and Deontay Wilder should continue to clean out the division before facing each other. Boxing fans were already given a taste of what top heavyweights going at it can do for boxing, with Fury vs. Wilder, and it didn’t disappoint, but I felt it was rushed. The long layoff of Fury left quite the asterisk, but that isn’t the point I want to make here.
Why did Mayweather vs. Pacquiao generate the amount of hype that it did?
Boxing fans knew that the fight in 2015 between Floyd and Manny was not going to be as great as it could have been in 2011, yet more people bought into it.
I know what you’re thinking, “what on earth do two Welterweights have to do with the Heavyweight division?”
For those who remember, whenever Mayweather beat a fighter, Pacquiao beat them in a more spectacular fashion, either before or after Mayweather did; think of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto. To the opposite of my point, think about how Mayweather completely outclassed Juan Manuel Marquez, a longtime rival of Pacquiao’s, who would knock him out cold, years later. Once again, what does this have to do with the Heavyweights of today?
When these match-ups between the top Welterweights were happening, fans were screaming for the ultimate fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao to be made. These fights opened new conversations, fans would compare styles, casuals would do boxing math, it was a great old time. Mayweather and Pacquiao were fighting the same guys and dominated them in different ways, in doing so, generated an amount of hype and conversation that no other fight could have at the time. By 2011, it was undoubtedly the fight to be made, however, the fight only came to fruition in 2015. The product of the 2015 super fight was underwhelming at best, but generated ridiculous amount of money and exposure. As far as quality boxing went, this “too little too late” fight, was a mistake in my eyes, one I hope today’s top 3 heavyweights don’t plan on making in the future.
By two years time, the Heavyweight super-fights need to become a reality, or else before you know it, 5 years go by and we have Heavyweight “super-fights” where the top fighters are at the tail end of their careers, challenging Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao for the biggest cash grab in the history of boxing.
I say we should let the Heavyweights fight for a little while longer before making the super-fights. Wilder, Fury and Joshua are somewhat young heavyweights, therefore, the quality of fights will be even higher in 2 years time. I would personally love to see Joshua or Fury against Luis Ortiz (5 million is chump change, I forgot). Dillian Whyte against Wilder or Fury are also compelling match-ups that could be made. There is no need to rush these fights when there are a good amount of match-ups that can get people talking. Imagine Dillian Whyte gives Wilder some problems, this only adds fuel to the fire between Wilder and Joshua’s rivalry. This is what makes these fights bigger than life; the stylistic clash, the conversations, the casual boxing math, it makes boxing the most enticing sport on the planet. In two years time, fans will understand why having these rivalries marinate longer is actually beneficial for boxing sometimes.
It is also important to note that the shelf life between these Heavyweight super-fights will never compare to Mayweather and Pacquiao’s did, so it’s best to move quickly after the 2 year mark. A little patience on the fans part, and some intriguing match-ups outside of the top 3 could benefit the already compelling Heavyweight division.