Boxing’s heavyweight division was once again in the spotlight after Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder tussled in an epic 12-round encounter last December in California.
Fans have been clamouring for a rematch to settle the score between the heavyweight pair as their instant classic ended in a controversial split decision draw.
But Fury went on a different direction, signing a multi-million deal with broadcasting giant, ESPN, which put the Wilder rematch at a later date as he is set to star in an interim title fight.
All eyes will be focused now on current unified champion Anthony Joshua, who will be making his US debut this June against Jarrell Miller. Wilder, who accused his British rival of running away from him, is reportedly set to face his mandatory challenger this May.
Ahead of these busy schedules for the heavyweight stars, former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew weighed in on who is the best and worst among them.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING RANKING
Anthony Joshua – 22-0-0 (21)
Tyson Fury – 27-0-1 (19)
Deontay Wilder – 40-0-1 (39)
Dillian Whyte – 25-1-0 (18)
Luis Ortiz – 29-1-0 (25)
Alexander Povetkin – 34-2-0 (24)
Jarrell Miller – 23-0-1 (20)
Kubrat Pulev – 26-1-0 (13)
Joseph Parker – 25-2-0 pic.twitter.com/TEXyI2htFm
— JOE AGORUA (@JoeAgorua) February 28, 2019
The Best and The Worst
Tony Bellew had a short stint in the heavyweight division. In 2017 and 2018, he appeared in a pair of fights against the same opponent in David Haye.
He won these bouts via knockout, and he was rumored to take on other heavyweight boxers like Fury, Joseph Parker and Dillian Whyte next to no avail.
Instead, he returned to cruiserweight and fought for the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO, The Ring, and lineal cruiserweight titles, but was given a rude welcome by Oleksandr Usyk.
Bellew was knocked out in the eighth round, his second knockout loss and his third overall in his career.
After a disappointing return to the division he once reigned over, he decided to hang up his gloves for good, capping his professional boxing career with a 30-3-1 slate.
Now retired, Bellew has shared his thoughts about the heavyweight picture, saying that Anthony Joshua is the best in the world right now while branding Deontay Wilder as the worst champion ever.
“AJ is the best heavyweight in the world. Physically, athletically, everything.”
“He is fast and explosive. He is the perfect role model. To look at where he has come from to where he is now is incredible,” Bellew told Give Me Sport, (transcript via Boxing Scene).
As for Wilder, Bellew thinks he is “The worst, least technically gifted heavyweight champion ever,”
“Deontay Wilder is the worst heavyweight champion of all time. Technically, I don’t think there has ever been a worse champion.
“This man can’t throw a proper combination. This man hits the lights when he throws a right hand. He is ultimately a one-trick pony.”
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic trick, but it is just one. He has been exposed at the top level.”
The IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO world titlist will be put into a test on June 1, where he will make his first ever boxing match in the US soil against the also-undefeated, Miller.
“All that spirit that this boy’s got over there – talking s*** – I’mma strip it from him.”
“I’mma strip him of his soul in that ring.”
“Look at his face, I’m gonna reconstruct his face on June 1 and I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” said Joshua.
Wilder, meanwhile, is still fuming
(Featured Image Source: YouTube/BT Sport)