Anticipation Grows for Heavyweight Mega-fight

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Tyson Fury's huge clash with Anthony Joshua is the undoubted highlight in a hectic heavyweight schedule.

Anthony Joshua

Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua’s mega-fight is the heavyweight clash of 2021 but there are plenty of other big-hitting bouts scheduled for this year.

Fury is the 8/15 favourite to add Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO world titles to his WBC belt, while ‘AJ’ is 7/5 to unify the division.

The British fighters are pencilled in to meet in late June or early July in what is being billed as the biggest bout of all time. 

The ‘Gypsy King’ is unbeaten in a 31-fight professional career and Joshua has just a single shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jnr on his 25-bout record. 

Wilder to Look Elsewhere

Deontay Wilder lost his WBC belt to Fury, when the pair clashed for a second time and the American had been chasing a third fight against him. That now looks unlikely to happen and the ‘Bronze Bomber’ may have to look elsewhere in a bid to revive his career. 

Dillian Whyte was aiming to join the party, but he was stopped in his tracks when losing out to Alexander Povetkin last August.

The ‘Bodysnatcher’ is 5/19 to avenge his defeat to the Russian when they meet again on Saturday, with ‘Sasha’ rated 5/2.

Dereck Chisora has shared a ring with Whyte and Fury and ‘Del Boy’ is scheduled to meet Joseph Parker on May 1. 

Parker has also been in with Joshua and Whyte in what’s becoming a heavyweight division merry-go-round. 

Usyk a Rising Threat

Oleksandr Usyk is the unxposed fighter in the division, after having just two bouts at heavy since moving up from cruiserweight. The Ukrainian unified the 200-lbs division and made a successful transition to the big time when beating Chisora in October. Usyk is likely to face Joe Joyce, who stopped the highly-rated prospect Daniel Dubois last year, in April and that promises to be an interesting fight. 

Former world title challengers Luis Ortiz and Kubrat Pulev’s best days look to be behind them, but the likes of Ruiz, Michael Hunter and even Hughie Fury could still have something to say in the heavyweight division. 

The 2016 Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka, who won his tenth pro fight earlier this month, has made a promising start to his professional career and the Frenchman will no doubt be targeting some bigger name opponents this year. 

Wardley and Fisher Aiming to Make Impact

Dubois has the look of a busted flush after his defeat to Joyce and the same could be said for Nathan Gorman, but Fabio Wardley, who fights on the Whyte v Povetkin undercard this weekend, and Jonny Fisher are home fighters to keep an eye on. 

Efe Ajagba has been making waves in low-key fights in America and the Nigerian takes on the limited Brian Howard next month. 

Agit Kabayel is unbeaten in 20 fights and the German looked an excellent prospect when comprehensively outpointing Chisora in 2017. Kabayel was due to meet Tyson Fury last year, but that fight fell through and the Leverkusen puncher has fought just three times since he defeated ‘Del Boy’. 

It’s a stacked section with plenty of fights to be made and the newly-crowned WBO cruiserweight world champion Lawrence Okolie has even talked about stepping-up a division and getting in the mix. 

It’s fair to say that 2021 could be a knockout year when it comes to heavyweight boxing.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

An experienced sports journalist, Henry’s knowledge spans across a number of different areas, including darts and snooker.

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