Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have been the top two men in the heavyweight division in boxing over the last few years. They currently share the four major belts (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO) between them.
AJ and the Gypsy King remain young enough to be at the top of the sport for a number of years yet. With a number of talented boxers rising up the ranks in the division, their domination may not go on for much longer. Here is a look at who could be strong challengers to their titles in the near future.
With a 15-0 record, Daniel Dubois has made a faultless start to his professional career in the sport. 14 of his 15 opponents have been unable to last the distance as Dynamite has stopped them with his explosive power.
Dubois’ team believe their man is very close to being ready to fight for a world title. He could get a step closer to a match-up with either Joshua or Fury if he wins his next contest against Joe Joyce. The 23-year-old is the favourite at 1/4 in the Dubois vs Joyce odds with Paddy Power. Given the quality of his opponent, it would rank as his best win yet, if successful.
The British boxer has the potential to go to the very top of the sport. In many ways he mirrors the ease of the success Joshua has when he broke into the pro ranks. Dubois will be hoping he can follow a similar path to the AJ over the next few years.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk has already dominated one division in his career. In 2018 he became the undisputed cruiserweight champion after a victory over Murat Gassiev. Usyk now has the heavyweight division in his sights and he has already shown the step-up in weight is not going to be an obstacle for him, with wins coming over Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora.
As one of the top ranked pound-for-pound boxers in the sport, Usyk does not need to prove he can mix it with the very best in the division. He does not have the power that Joshua and Deontay Wilder can boast, however, he is a very smart boxer, and that gives him a great chance of winning a world heavyweight title.
Unless you follow boxing closely, Filip Hrgovic is unlikely to be a name that you will be familiar with. The Croatian has had just 12 fights so far in his professional career and he has yet to taste defeat. El Animal had an excellent amateur record before he turned pro. He won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, while a year earlier he landed gold at the European Amateur Boxing Championships.
Hrgovic’s biggest win so far as a pro came against Eric Molina last December. He stopped the American in the third round in what was an impressive display. More wins like that one will help him rise up the rankings over the next 12 months.
The next few years in the heavyweight division should be fascinating as all three of the above boxers are sure to get an opportunity at some point to fight for a world title.Follow paulmbanks