There are big things in the works for boxing’s heavyweight division in 2018. Epic and exciting may not quite be the words to describe it. Monumental and historic may be better adjectives.

Last year we saw the continued rise of two stars, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, solidifying their place amongst the ranks of the sweet science as two of the most feared and dominant champions in the past decade. Both of them boast once in a generation power as well as an undefeated record. Anthony Joshua made a major statement last April as he dethroned Wladimir Klitschko by knockout to capture two out of the four major recognized World Heavyweight Championships, the WBA title and the IBF title. Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion, captured his title in 2015 after defeating then-champion Bermane Stiverne by decision. Wilder, whom has faced many doubters, has silenced many over the past three years by conquering any challenger that has been placed in front of him, some in brutal fashion, much like his November 2017 rematch against Stiverne, which ended in a devastating first round knockout.

While many are waiting for a super-fight between these two stars, there are two more puzzle pieces that stand in the way of an Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, something that we have not had since Lennox Lewis held it almost two decades ago. The outside factors include Joseph Parker, the WBO Heavyweight Champion, who has finally agreed to terms to fight Joshua this upcoming March in a showdown that would award the winner with three out of the four titles. The perceived roadmap at that point would suggest the winner of the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker bout would face the winner of the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz bout that is also scheduled for March. The hope is that this crowning bout would take place later on this year. Belts aside, the last remaining piece that would allow one man to call themselves the true bonafide undisputed champion is the lineal heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, who has been in retirement for the better part of the past three years after a series of personal struggles. Fury has claimed that he plans on returning to action, however that remains to be seen. If any challengers are able to beat lineal heavyweight champion, Fury, they can truly call themselves “the man to beat the man” in addition to carrying all of the gold leaving zero doubt as to who the best heavyweight fighter is.

It would be quite the storybook ending and a new chapter in history if the one left standing victorious at the end of 2018 with all four titles finds himself standing toe to toe with Tyson Fury for one final showdown in 2019 with the winner reigning supreme as Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion. Time will only tell at this point. It will almost certainly be a fun roller coaster ride on the way there.


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