Fans of professional boxing have been blessed by a series of dramatic bouts in the heavyweight division in recent years.
These fights have surrounded British duo Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua with the big fight feel once again well and truly back when either step in the ring.
Both men are lobbying for rematches with recent opponents after their bouts ended in incredible ways. Stepping into the ring with old foes again gives the likes of Fury and Joshua the chance to train differently.
With first-hand experience of fighting desired opponents, tweaks to their regime can be made in order to learn from any mistakes made in the heat of battle. Whether it’s changing a sparring partner, more cardio or different exercises, there’s always room for improvement.
Here’s a little more on the heavyweight rematches they and boxing fans want to see…
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury
There’s a famous song that Fury embodied in his penultimate fight with WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder: “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.”
Fury was left on the canvas not once but twice by his American opponent in the Staples Center yet, just as he battled back from drugs and depression that nearly cost him everything, the Briton rose to claim a sensational and controversial draw in Los Angeles.
It was pure boxing theatre, but a result that left neutral observers perplexed. The fight went the distance and judges were split. One scored it in favour of Fury, another for Wilder and the third had the scores level.
Stats suggest Wilder threw over 100 more punches than Fury, yet was less accurate in landing them. Fury was more economical with his blows, and it’s perhaps for that reason bet365 go 8/11 about him winning in their boxing betting if a rematch is agreed. Wilder, meanwhile, is 11/10.
Both men have been in the ring since, but made short work of their latest opponents. Given what has happened to Joshua, and we’ll come to that in a moment, this is at present the premier heavyweight bout.
Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr
Fellow British boxer Joshua lost his invincible aura and four heavyweight belts with a shock defeat on his American debut to Mexican fighter Andy Ruiz Jr. AJ was stopped in the seventh round by his opponent in Madison Square Garden in one of the biggest upsets in modern boxing history.
A rematch clause was in the contract for this fight, which makes it more likely than Wilder tangling again with Fury. That doesn’t change the fact that Joshua having to exercise it is highly embarrassing.
Ruiz is one of the most unlikely heavyweight champions ever. Not to be too unkind, but like Fury, his physique is different from the musclebound Joshua or Wilder. The lesson for AJ is simple. Mistakes get punished in boxing, and he had made precious few before losing this humbling fight.
Bookmakers believe Joshua will bounce back, however. He is odds-on at 2/7 to reclaim the WBA (Super), WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles in that contracted rematch.
Dangerous and undefeated Ukrainian cruiserweight Oleksandr Usyk is ready to step up a class and challenge the winner after being named as the next mandatory challenger by the WBO. As for Ruiz, he’s an outsider but far shorter in the betting than their initial encounter at 5/2.
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