With the current WBC Heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, about defend his title against Eric Molina, we ask, who is currently the best heavyweight boxer out there?
Wilder certainly has to be in contention, especially considering his record of 33 wins from 33 fights, 32 coming by the way of knockout. This record is likely to be extended following the fight against Molina but has Wilder done enough to cement himself at the top of the heavyweight division? Some would say, that he is yet to fight a serious contender, a boxer who will really test him. As a very powerful fighter, Wilder certainly has the potential to deliver in a big fight but until that happens, question marks will remain.
Bulgarian, Kubrat Pulev, was defending an unbeaten record going in to his showdown with Wladimir Klitschko in November 2014. However, the fight lasted just five rounds as Pulev was stopped by Klitschko. Nevertheless, Pulev had beaten some strong opponents in the lead up to his meeting with Klitschko, including the likes of Alexander Ustinov and Tony Thompson and may have another title shot in him before retirement.
Current British heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, is just 26 years old and has an unblemished professional career to date. Having retained the WBO International Heavyweight title in February 2015, there has been much talk of Fury taking on Wladimir Klitschko in the near future. The choice will ultimately by Klitschko’s but word has it, he may be willing to head over to the UK to meet Fury in the ring.
A fighter who has come toe-to-toe with Klitschko recently, is Alexander Povetkin. The Russian went the distance with Klitschko but lost by a unanimous points decision. Since that fight, Povetkin has returned to the ring and claimed the WBC International Heavyweight title and also retained it in May 2015, defeating Mike Perez by technical knockout in Moscow.
There are also a number of younger fighters, all aiming to make it to the top of the heavyweight division, including Bryant Jennings and Vyacheslav Glazkov, who even at 30 years of age, are younger than many of the fighters mentioned above.
That being said, all of these boxers have one aim in common and that’s to defeat Wladimir Klitschko. Even at the age of 39, the Ukrainian proved in a recent fight with Bryant Jennings that he is still at the top of the heavyweight tree. Having been heavyweight champion for nine years, Klitschko’s next title defence will give him the opportunity to close in on Larry Holmes’ record of 20. It would take another six wins after that, to match the record of Joe Louis.
Whether Klitschko has the time left to reach Louis’ record is doubtful but does he have the ability? The answer is yes. Many boxing pundits and fans have claimed that the current heavyweight division is as weak as it’s ever been, however, even the greatest heavyweight boxers of the past tasted defeat, just like Wladimir Klitschko. They came back from it, as did Klitschko and there is little doubt that the Ukrainian deserves his place at the top of the heavyweight division.