Who Will Be the Next “Black Hope” to Be Heavyweight Champion?
By Ken Hissner: Years ago, this writer did an article when the Klitschko brothers held the heavyweight titles entitled “Will Samuel Peter Be the Next Black Hope!”
It all started when Jack “The Galveston Giant” Johnson won the title on December 26, 1908, defeating 5:07 Canadian Tommy “The Little Giant of Hanover” Burns for his heavyweight title.
Two of his following defenses were against smaller opponents in “Philadelphia” Jack O’Brien, the light heavyweight champion, and Stanley “The Michigan Assassin” Ketchel, the middleweight champion who started the “Great White Hope” tag.
Next for Johnson came former champion James “The Boilermaker” J. Jeffries, 19-0-2, who hadn’t fought in six years, minus a month. He had gained over 100 pounds, and at a church service, the pastor said, “we have a coward among us who won’t stand up for his race!”
Unfortunately for Jeffries, he decided to make a comeback after losing the 100 pounds. He would be stopped in the fifteenth round of a scheduled forty-five before a crowd of 16,528 in Reno, Nevada.
This brings us to today with newly crowned WBA Super, WBO, IBF champion southpaw Oleksandr Usyk, 19-0 (13), from Shypyntsi, Ukraine defeating Anthony “AJ” Joshua for his titles on September 25th in London by decision. The former WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC Cruiserweight champion is due to give Joshua a rematch possible in February of 2022.
It wasn’t until this writer was sure WBC World heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury, 31-0-1 (22), former of the UK now living in Carson, Nevada, defeated former WBC champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, 42-2-1 (41) in their third meeting in possibly “The Fight of the Year!” If Usyk gets by Joshua, it may set up a meeting between Usyk and Fury or Joshua if he wins by the summer of 2022.
The possible “Black Hopes” include WBC interim champion Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte, 28-2 (19), scheduled to fight Sweden’s Otto Wallin, 22-1 (14), October 30th. He reversed his loss to Alexander Povetkin with the other loss to Joshua.
WBA champ Trevor Bryan, 21-0 (15), won the vacant title in January, stopping former champ Bermane “B.WARE” Stiverne. Another is No. 2 WBO, and No. 3 WBC ranked Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce, 13-0 (12), of the UK, who in 2012 lost to Usyk at a World Series Boxing tourney in Ukraine 3-0.
Daniel “Dynamite” Dubois, 17-1 (16), of the UK, is No. 1 ranked in the WBA, though won the interim title in June of 2021 but didn’t defend it in August. Michael “The Bounty” Hunter, 20-1-1 (14), No. 2 WBA, ranked lost to Usyk in 2017 by decision. Cuban southpaw Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, 32-2 (17), No. 4 ranked WBC though losing to Wilder twice.
Another Cuban is “The Cuban Flash” Frank Sanchez, 19-0 (13), No. 5 WBO ranked. He defeated Nigeria’s Efe Ajagba, now 15-1 (12), over the weekend on the Fury-Wilder undercard. Also, on the undercards was Jared “Big Baby” Anderson, 10-0 (10), NABF Jr. Heavy champ who in October defeated previously unbeaten Vladimir Tereshkin, 22-1-1.
Tony “La Conquete” Yoka, 11-0 (9), of France, No. 7 IBF, is another EBU European Union champ.
That’s ten of the possible “Black Hope” fighters, including Joshua.
- Tyson Fury wants Oleksandr Usyk next for all the belts
- Joe Joyce: ‘I want to fight Fury before Whyte does’
- Daniel Dubois questions whether Joshua beats Usyk in rematch
- Bob Arum says Tyson Fury to decide April opponent, Joyce & Whyte options