The best and worst thing about boxing’s heavyweight division is its unpredictability.
Who doesn’t love when an underdog like Andy Ruiz Jr. upsets Anthony Joshua to become a heavyweight champion? Actions have consequences, and Ruiz’s victory threw a wrench in the heavyweight division. Instead of Joshua moving on to fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, the British boxer exercised his rematch clause and won the second bout with ease.
After Joshua won his fight, the logical next opponent would be the winner of Fury-Wilder II. In the second fight, Fury overpowered and dominated Wilder on his way to seventh-round TKO in February 2020. Shortly after the fight, Wilder exercised his rematch clause and Fury-Wilder III would happen sometime in the fall.
Then a little thing called a “pandemic” happened and shook up the entire world.
No one could have predicted a pandemic, but tumultuous contract negotiations should have been expected for Fury-Wilder III. Fury wanted to move on from Wilder in the Fall of 2020 and response, the Bronze Bomber accused Fury of cheating during their fight, which has never been proven. Sour grapes, anyone?
Fast forward March 2021 when Fury and Joshua agreed to a two-fight deal to unify the heavyweight titles, the first time an undisputed champion would be crowned since the days of Lennox Lewis. The heavyweight division was finally going in the right direction.
Not so fast my friend.
In May 2021, an independent arbitrator ruled that Fury must honor a contractual cause to fight Wilder for the third time. There were talks of paying Wilder “step away” money and wait to fight the winner of Fury-Joshua, but it never materialized. Fury actually wouldn’t let it happen.
Despite the ruling, the roadmap to a Fury-Joshua was not dead just yet. If Joshua took care of Oleksandr Usyk and Fury beat Wilder once again, Fury-Joshua would automatically be the next fight.
However, unpredictability struck again when Usyk dethroned Joshua by unanimous decision. Why can’t we have nice things?
Usyk winning could be good for the division in the long run as it presents another challenger for the big three. However, I can’t help but feel disappointed that a Fury-Joshua fight may never happen. If Fury loses on Saturday night, does Wilder then jump ahead of the Gypsy King and fight the winner of Joshua-Usyk II?
If you want Fury-Joshua as soon as possible, root for Fury to defeat Wilder. Want chaos? Cheer for Wilder.
If the heavyweight division has taught us anything over the last three years, it’s to expect the unexpected.
Who do you think will win Fury-Wilder III? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @unafraidshow.