The Heavyweight Division’s Strange, But Not Unsatisfying, 2021

Posted on 12/27/2021

By: Sean Crose

Whereas wanting by my articles for Boxing Insider over the previous 12 months, I’ve been reminded of how massive a deal the potential pairing of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua was. It solely made sense that it will be a giant deal, frankly. Fury owned the WBC and lineal heavyweight titles…and his fellow Englishman Joshua possessed all the opposite main titles within the division. In different phrases, this is able to have been a battle to crown the primary undisputed heavyweight champion in years. What’s extra, it will have been the primary such defining showdown within the period of tremendous sized heavyweights, in addition to a dying knell to the profession futures of all heavyweights underneath the scale of NBA stars.

Credit score: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports activities

The battle, in fact, by no means occurred. Scheduled to go down within the center east, Joshua-Fury fell by on the final minute. It appeared like a crushing blow to the large man’s division. As an alternative of discovering a brand new undisputed champion, followers can be caught watching Joshua make straightforward work of former cruiserweight Oleksandr Usyk, whereas Fury would go on to as soon as once more have a simple night time on the workplace in opposition to Deontay Wilder. It simply appeared so unhappy. Till it stopped seeming unhappy. Usyk, by advantage of a boxing masterclass, defeated Joshua, thus strolling out of the ring with the titles Joshua had walked into the ring in possession of. Then Fury ended up having to rise up off the mat to be able to defeat Wilder in an absolute warfare.

I’ll simply come proper out and say it – issues ended up higher, or almost higher, at heavyweight in 2021 than they might have had Joshua and Fury truly gotten it on. For one factor, it seems to be like Joshua and Usyk are going to sq. off once more in 2022. That’s fairly a match when one considers the truth that Joshua has beforehand proven he can come again from a loss efficiently. Will he truly be capable to greatest the strolling, speaking ability set referred to as Usyk? That’s a query price being keen to search out the reply to – not less than that’s the case for critical followers.

And Fury? Nicely, he’s nonetheless the lineal and WBC champ. He’s additionally now seen because the division’s massive man – no pun meant – not the undisputed champion, however the massive man. Couple that with the very fact he and Wilder engaged in a legit traditional final fall and 2021 seems to have wrapped up fairly properly for the heavyweight division, thanks very a lot.

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