Tyson Fury reaffirmed his status as the no. 1 heavyweight on the planet with his stunning KO of Deontay Wilder, but who could The Gypsy King fight next?
BenchWarmers have considered four possibilities, from Fury unifying the division by fighting Ukranian Oleksandr Usyk… to finally taking to the ring against UK rival David Haye.
Usyk won the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles with a 12-round destruction of former champion Anthony Joshua last month.
As reported by Sky Sports, Eddie Hearn has confirmed that AJ has invoked the rematch clause, as you’d expect, but does the Briton actually stand a chance of getting his belts back?
Joshua was absolutely outclassed by Usyk, who was quite evidently the more shrewd and technical boxer. It’s difficult to imagine the rematch going any differently to the first fight.
If Usyk is able to get through the rematch unscathed, a fight with Fury to unify the heavyweight division will surely be on the cards. Considering Fury’s size advantage, you’d have to consider him the favourite.
Dillian Whyte has been forced to remain patient for a world title shot. He could finally get a bite at the cherry by taking on Fury in a fight on UK soil – one that the fans would love to see, no doubt.
Whyte is the WBC mandatory, which could see Fury being forced into fighting him before he goes any further in his efforts to unify the heavyweight division.
The Body Snatcher would head into a fight with Fury as a major underdog, but his stock is on the rise once again after he avenged his KO defeat to Alexander Povetkin.
Whyte has a dangerous fight with Otto Wallin to get past before he can think about taking on Fury, but should he be triumphant, he’ll be right at the front of the queue.
Cast your mind back to 2013, with David Haye and Tyson Fury set to go toe-to-toe in the ring. That was until Haye suffered a cut on his forehead soon before the bout, which was followed by a shoulder injury which saw him spend the best part of four years away from the sport.
After the fight never materialised, few expected to see the pair ever meet in the ring. Yet, in 2021, after Fury defeated Wilder in their trilogy bout, the former heavyweight world champion hinted to IFLTV that he’d be open to fighting Fury. “FYI, the ‘Hayemaker’ is in the gym,” he said.
Fury has bigger fish to fry right now, so it’s hard to imagine he would see the value of stepping into the ring with a 40-year-old has-been with a dodgy shoulder and achilles. That said, you just never know in boxing.
The appetite for Fury vs AJ has certainly lessened since the latter lost his belts against Usyk, but British fight fans would not pass up the opportunity to see the pair meet in the ring.
It certainly feels like a matter of what could’ve been, had the two camps been able to agree on a fight deal over the summer, before Fury was ordered to fight Wilder and AJ agreed to take on mandatory Usyk.
That said, it’s still a big fight, a money fight, belts or no belts. Joshua has some career reparation to do before he can think about fighting Fury, but it’s one that we could see later down the line.
The concern for AJ and his team is that, in his current form, he would stand very little chance of beating Fury. Stepping into the ring with him now and taking another ‘L’ could sign and seal the end of his career at the top level.