WBC and The Ring Lineal Champion Tyson Fury successfully defended his titles this past weekend against Derek Chisora.

Fury’s comprehensive dismantling of “War” Chisora saw the Champion earn a 10th round stoppage, after the challenger was deemed unable to continue after a punishing 10 rounds that barely saw the Champion break sweat.

At the end of the fight, Fury called out both the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO World Champion Oleksandr Usyk, who was ringside for the fight and the British challenger Joe Joyce, who was sat beside Usyk, stating that he wanted to take both on.

Fury also then promised 2023 was going to be a big year for him personally and that has fans excited about the potential match ups that could come in the year.

Bet365 Sport offers excellent boxing betting for all the major bouts taking place around the world each year, with the focus now switching to huge forthcoming bouts in December 2022 and January 2023 including Josh Warrington v Luis Albert Lopez, Terence Crawford against David Avanesyan, Chris Eubank Jr v Liam Smith, Artur Beterbiev v Anthony Yarde and Jermell Charlo fighting Tim Tszyu.

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However, the heavyweight division is rich in prospects looking ahead and 2023 promises to be a hugely exciting year for all those involved.

So who are the Champions and who are the Contenders?

Champions

Tyson Fury (34-33-0-1) – WBC & Lineal Heavyweight World Champion

Without doubt the biggest name in the heavyweight division. The 6ft 9” Gypsy King is unbeaten in his 34 fights, winning 33 but it his combination of size, speed, ability and agility, mixed with a fantastic ability to recover and find a way to win that marks him out as very special.

Having faced Deontay Wilder three times, he has since gone on to retain his titles in defences against Dillian Whyte back in April and Derek Chisora this week.

Oleksandr Usyk (20-20-0-0) – WBA, IBF, WBO & IBO Heavyweight World Champion

At 6ft 3” tall, usyk is giving away six inches to Fury and likely at least a couple of stone in weight, if not more. However, technically, Usyk is as good as they come and there are few boxers that can match the technical skills of the Ukrainian ace.

He has won all 20 of his fights so far, but just a couple of those have been at heavyweight. 13 have come from Knockout but he has never knocked out a heavyweight.

Challengers

Joe Joyce (15-15-0-0)

The tall and powerful Olympian has emerged as a genuine heavyweight contender in the past 18 months racking up wins against top ranked opponents such as Daniel Dubois, Carlos Takam, Christian Hammer and Joseph Parker.

Joyce is very much now being talked about in the same breath as the top ranked heavyweights in the world at present and it would be a surprise if he does not get a title shot if not in 2023, then certainly in 2024.

Anthony Joshua (27-24-3-0)

The former Champion was beaten twice by Oleksandr Usyk but has remained active in the gym and is now trying to come back from those back-to-back defeats as a stronger and better boxer. Whether he can do that after the toll those two defeats took on him remains to be seen.

With 24 wins in 27 fights, 22 by KO, Joshua remains a big draw in the heavyweight scene despite losing three of his last five fights. One more defeat against a top ranked contender though would likely signal the end of Joshua at this elite level at least.

Daniel Dubois (20-19-1-0)

He may have lost to Joe Joyce in November 2020, but since then Daniel Dubois has come back, winning his next four fights and becoming the WBA Regular Heavyweight title holder. His heavy hands mean Dubois is a big hitter, landing 18 of his 19 wins by knockout.

Dubois though has lost on the one occasion he has stepped up in class against Joyce and that blemish on his record will remain until he can defeat another Heavyweight title contender in the ring. After which he will be talked about as a genuine contender.

Deontay Wilder (46-43-2-1)

Deontay Wilder’s trilogy with Tyson Fury was one of boxing most’s incredible series of fights and after a draw and two defeats, Wilder seemed to be done with the sport. However, he indicated he intended to fight on and in his comeback fight, he stopped Finnish prospect Robert Helenius in the first round to keep up his staggering knockout record of 43 wins, 42 by knockout.

There is talk of a possible Wilder v Joshua showdown with the winner going on to fight either Fury or Usyk and while that would not be a title fight, the American taking on another British star in what would be a career reigniting fight for both, does have huge appeal.

Andy Ruiz Jr. (37-35-2-0)

The former Champion has been training hard since he lost the belts he won against Anthony Joshua against Joshua back in 2019. He was almost 18 months out of the ring following that defeat but returned as a slimmer and more dedicated fighter.

He has since beat Chris Arreola and Luis Ortiz, both by unanimous decision and is certainly a top six heavyweight contender in the world today, although he may have to wait for another shot at a title, with an interim fight against another contender his next step most likely.

Frank Sanchez (21-21-0-0)

The Cuban heavyweight has won all 21 of his contests so far but hasn’t fought too many well-known names. His best wins have come this year with a New Years Day win over Christian Hammer and then a win back in October against Puerto Rico’s Carlos Negron.

In truth, Sanchez is still probably a couple of good fights against quality opponents away from a shot at a World title, so 2024 or 2025 may well be a more realistic time-frame for the Cuban to get his shot in this highly competitive division.

What Fights Do The Public Want To See?

There is no doubt that the fight everyone wants to see next in the Heavyweight Division is Fury and Usyk go head to head with all the titles on the line and the great news for fans is that both fighters seem to be up for that bout to take place.

However, his father Peter Fury has said that he feels Usyk is too small a fighter to cause Fury many problems given that the Ukrainian will likely give away 6 inches in height and a couple of stone at least to Fury for their bout.

Fury has said that Joe Joyce would likely be a tougher opponent for Fury given Joyce’s greater size and weight but that if Tyson Fury applied himself he would still land the win.

Tyson himself has suggested that an ideal 2023 would see him fight Usyk first and then assuming he unifies the division, take on the winner of Joe Joyce v Deontay Wilder.

So here’s what boxing fans would probably love to see happen in 2023 in terms of the heavyweight division.

  1. Fury v Usyk – To create unified champion.
  2. Joyce v Wilder – Winner to face winner of Fury v Usyk in late 2023.
  3. Sanchez v Dubois – Two youngsters seeking to break through.
  4. Joshua v Whyte/Ruiz Jr – Joshua needs a win against a tough opponent to reestablish himself in the division.

Of course, things may not pan put that way, and even if they don’t there are some great fights to be made (Joshua v Wilder or Wilder v Ruiz Jr or Dubois/Sanchez against any of the experienced heavyweights).

However for the good of boxing, let’s hope Fury and Usyk can agree a date and time to unify the division and give us one true heavyweight Champion.