After 9 1/2 long years of Klitschko dominance, the heavyweight division has been shaken up by 27 year old Tyson Fury.
Thus ends the 2nd longest heavyweight title reign in history after 18 successful defences.
Whether this is truly a new era will only become clear after the rematch, which has been confirmed and will likely happen in May or June.
This contractually obligated rematch has caused a domino effect, as Fury has been stripped of his newly won IBF belt for failing to next face mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.
For those blaming the IBF for their decision, they are simply following their rules to the letter, something the other sanctioning bodies notoriously don’t do. Fury was under no pressure to agree to a rematch clause because he was a mandatory challenger, but chose to take some extra Klitschko money knowing that, if he won, the IBF belt would have to be immediately relinquished.
Vyacheslav Glazkov and Charles Martin are expected to contest this title in the new year, a dire vacant title fight if ever there was one.
Expect this belt to be the one targeted in the future by Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua.
Glazkov was lined up to be the challenger for Deontay Wilder’s belt in mid-January, but now there’s a frantic scramble to find a replacement at short notice.
Expect the worst, but, as far as bottom-feeder ‘challengers’ go, surely Eric Molina & Johann Duhaupas (who ?) can’t be topped.
It’s fair to say that Tyson Fury made Klitschko look like a big stiff idiot.
British boxing is truly buzzing right now, with 10 world titlists (the most ever?).
This weekend’s Anthony Joshua-Dillian Whyte/Chris Eubank Jr.-‘Spike’ O’Sullivan PPV card, worthy of the 22 euro pricetag or not, continues the momentum.
The former sees the first live opponent for arguably the sport’s top prospect, Joshua, and the winner of the latter will be mandatory for Daniel Jacobs’ dubious 160lb. trinket, and likely see the son of a legend take an important step towards potential crossover stardom.
When is it going to be publicly acknowledged that Anthony Joshua is actually trained by Robert McCracken (best known for training Carl Froch), as is speculated by many to be the case, rather than Tony Sims?
McCracken is currently barred from working the corner of his Great Britain amateur boxing team, with whom he has had great success (leading Joshua & Luke Campbell to Olympic gold), while simultaneously training professional boxers.
Perhaps this conflict of interest will end post-Rio next year, and the secretive charade will end.
Campbell has been training with Joshua in Tenerife, and is another guy whose cornerman is rarely mentioned, supposedly an old amateur coach.
My belief is that he’ll be revealed as another McCracken pupil, and, before you ask, yes, I am partial to the odd tinfoil hat.
Pacquiao-Bradley III is expected to be announced Friday as the April return match for the ex-pound for pound king.
It should surprise noone that Pacquiao selected the easiest comeback fight (similarly to Mayweather in September, don’t believe the hype that it will be his final fight), facing a guy he’s already de facto beaten twice, rather than the far more difficult stylistic puzzles of Terence Crawford or Amir Khan.
Still, the 24/7 should be fun because of Teddy Atlas, and it would give Pacquiao an opportunity to surpass Mayweather’s lineal title haul by becoming champion at a 5th weight.
As the generally recognized top two ranked fighters at welterweight, the clash would fill the lineal vacancy left by Mayweather’s retirement, temporary though it may be, and I actually give Bradley a good shot at the upset against an inactive Pacquiao coming off surgery & a lopsided defeat.