Making sporting predictions can be very tough, especially when you are trying to look far into the future.
However, back in 2004, Ring Magazine made their very own prediction with regards to who would be top dog in the heavyweight division.
At the time of publishing the magazine, they were predicting who would be the boxers to replace Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
Lewis retired a year prior in 2003 after defeating Vitali Klitschko, Tyson was coming to the end of his career and only had two fights in 2004 and 2005 (losing both) and Holyfield was drastically declining, despite the fact he continued to box until 2011.
So who were the three men they were tipping to replace the legendary trio of Lewis, Tyson and Holyfield?
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Well, they put their trust and faith in Audley Harrison, Dominick Guinn and Joe Mesi.
Let’s start with Harrison first.
At the time of publishing the magazine, Harrison was 15-0 in his professional career having just defeated Richel Hersisia. He eventually went on to fight the likes of David Haye, David Price and Deontay Wilder, with the Bronze Bomber being his retirement fight in 2013.
His professional boxing record ended on 31 wins and seven losses.
After being backed to be king of the heavyweight division by Ring Magazine, Harrison won 16 out of 23 fights, so not a bad return at all.
However, he never went on to hold a world title, losing his only shot to Haye in 2010.
Next up we have Guinn.
He was an American heavyweight who at the time of publishing the magazine had a record of 24-0. However, it was clearly a curse of the magazine as he lost his very next fight to Monte Barrett.
In fact, after being predicted big things by Ring Magazine, Guinn went on to lose more fights than he won, including defeats to; Artur Szpilka, Hughie Fury and Kubrat Pulev.
Guinn is still fighting today, at the ripe old age of 44, and he currently holds a professional record of 35 wins, 12 losses and one draw.
Lastly we have Mesi, and we aren’t talking Lionel Messi.
The American actually finished his career undefeated, winning all of his 36 fights.
At the time of the magazine being published, Mesi was 29-0 having just defeated Vassiliy Jirov, and he would go on to win the next seven fights before eventually calling quits on his career.
Just like the other two before him, however, he never really challenged on the main scene.
So there we have it. The three men to take over from Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, according to Ring Magazine.
As you can tell from their predictions, it’s tough getting things right, and they will look back and probably be disappointed with their selections.
Neither of the three they chose went on to achieve major things in the sport, despite Harrison being a well known name in boxing.
Maybe Ring Magazine can have another go now and try and predict who will replace Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.