What does heavyweight boxing look like without Tyson Fury? The battles and the challenges that await

Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte - Heavyweight Fight

Fury has insisted that victory over Whyte was his last in professional boxing (Image: Getty)

‘I’m going home,’ Tyson Fury declared shortly after detonating an uppercut in eternity at Wembley Stadium that knocked out Dillian Whyte. If this is to be ‘The Gypsy King’s last action in a boxing ring, there’s no better way to cancel.

Fury is undoubtedly fond of a wind game and has persistently contradicted himself about his future in the sport over the years. Previous pension claims have been taken with a big grain of salt, but it feels different this time, as the 33-year-old last night promised to keep a promise made to his wife Paris.

The chance to rally the division against the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua will definitely give itself up when the dust settles on the IBF, WBA and WBO title rematch in July.

But should Fury remain resolute in its promise to hang up its gloves – with the exception of money-spinning show matches and WWE appearances – it will mark a seismic shift in the heavyweight division with new challengers ready to join the title picture.

Fury has already given Deontay Wilder his blessing to step in and fight the winner of Usyk vs Joshua II. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ has somehow retained its No. 1 spot on the WBC despite two consecutive defeats, but it remains to be seen which version of Wilder returns after these damaging losses to Fury.

Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk Vejning

Joshua and Usyk to meet in their rematch in July (Photo: Getty)

A huge PPV return against Andy Ruiz Jr or Luis Ortiz, both also with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, is perhaps the most likely scenario if Fury sticks to his retirement plan and leaves the belt.

During Saturday’s broadcast, it was announced that Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker have almost agreed on their summer showdown. Ranked as No. 2 and No. 3 at the WBC and No. 1 and No. 2 at the WBO, respectively, the winner of that competition will definitely feel confident of getting a title shot next time.

Logic suggests that the winner will be locked in as the obligatory contender for the WBO title to be competed by Usyk and Joshua next month – or be stuck in the picture for that WBC belt.

Should Fury retire and relinquish its title, it leaves the possibility of an association battle almost dead for the foreseeable future – opening up a series of world title fights across the other governing bodies.

With the IBF and WBA, there are a host of fresh names ready to enter the title conversation. Daniel Dubois is expected to fight Trevor Bryan for the ‘regular’ WBA belt before the end of July.

However, 37-year-old Robert Helenius is pushing to be named the obligatory challenger for the ‘super’ title currently in the possession of Usyks, where the governing body recently ordered a title eliminator with another member of the Fury family in Tysons cousin Hughie.

Hughie Fury fell short in his only previous shot at the World Cup against Joseph Parker in 2017 and was also on the wrong end of a unanimous decision against Alexander Povetkin in August 2019. But still only 27 years old, he has won three victories since forcing its way. back in the equation.

Tyson’s cousin Hughie may soon be in the title picture (Image: Getty)

The situation with the IBF is a little clearer. The undefeated Croatian star Filip Hrgovic must face Zhilei Zhang in a final eliminator to become the obligatory challenger for Usyk or Joshua. That match will take place on the Dmitry Bivol vs Canelo Alvarez undercard on May 7th.

The heavyweight division may be opening up somewhat after a series of log jams stemming from rematch clauses and collective bargaining over the past 18 months.

It depends, of course, on Fury. He still has all the cards, and should he be tempted back and try to become the first undisputed heavyweight king since Lennox Lewis against Usyk or Joshua, the situation will remain pretty much the same as it is now.

Fury could still be tempted to return to the reunion match (Image: Getty)

At first glance, the alternatives on the horizon may not be as exciting with the heavyweight division’s recent boom period possibly coming to an end if Fury were to go away. Joshua and Usyk will remain key figures, but if Fury passes on his shot at boxing immortality, an undisputed champion in boxing’s blue band division will be a distant option again.

As for Whyte, the picture is also uncertain. Although he was rated as the no1-ranked challenger with the WBC for more than 1000 days, he is not ranked among the top 10 across the other three governing bodies.

While he may have to wait again for another title shot, the Brixton fighter has proven he belongs worldwide over the years with his victories over Parker and Alexander Povetkin proving his credentials, even though he was outclassed by Fury on Saturday .

Should Joshua fall short again against Usyk, a rematch against Whyte and the chance to relive their red-hot rivalry in 2015 could certainly help fill the void and capture the imagination of British boxing fans.

All WBC, WBO, WBA and IBF rankings retrieved from last update on April 18th

MORE: ‘There Was Not Much In It’ – Dillian Whyte speaks out after suffering devastating knockout defeat to Tyson Fury

MORE: Tyson Fury Confirms Retirement From Boxing After Exciting Victory Over Dillian Whyte

For more stories like this, check out our sports page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Twitter and Instagram.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.