Tyson Fury has been in the news this week for his quotes regarding the heavyweight boxing division.
Speaking to talkSPORT on Thursday morning, he said: “Anthony Joshua is a third tier heavyweight. There’s levels to this game and I am top tier.”
With that in mind, we thought we would take a closer look at the tiers of heavyweight boxing, and which boxer fits in where.
Below is the list, but just remember, this is a personal opinion. It's okay if you disagree!
TIER 7 – Charles Martin, Dominic Breazeale
A former IBF heavyweight champion, Charles Martin has had a somewhat mixed recent record, losing to both Adam Kownacki and Anthony Joshua within his last seven fights.
He did, however, defeat Gerald Washington back in February by TKO, and has big aims to return to the title trail in the coming years.
Dominic Breazeale has recorded two defeats in professional boxing, although those came against Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
He recorded an impressive victory against Eric Molina back in 2017, but hasn’t fought since the Wilder bout in May 2019, when he failed to claim the WBC heavyweight title.
Breazeale represented the USA at the 2012 Olympics, but was defeated in the preliminary round.
TIER 6 – Andy Ruiz Jr.
Andy Ruiz Jr.’s victory over Anthony Joshua last year sent shockwaves through the boxing world.
The Mexican was rated as nothing more than an outsider to the heavyweight champion, who was only fighting because of Jarrell Miller’s failed drugs test.
He would drop the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles six months later, however, when he was defeated by Joshua in a rematch, but Ruiz’s record still stands at an impressive 33-2, with 22 knockouts.
TIER 5 – Dereck Chisora, Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker, Luis Ortiz, Kubrat Pulev, Michael Hunter
Dereck Chisora doesn’t seem to spend too long out of the headlines when he has an upcoming fight.
During his distinguished career, he has fought many of the top heavyweights, ranging from Dillian Whyte to Anthony Joshua and Vitali Klitschko.
He currently holds the WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title, having defeated David Price in October 2019.
Alexander Povetkin has been a supreme force in boxing for more than a decade, having turned professional in 2005.
The 41-year-old Ukrainian is the current WBC interim heavyweight champion, and has also held the WBA (Regular) heavyweight crown in the past.
Over his career, Povetkin has defeated the likes of Carlos Takam, Dillian Whyte and Christian Hammer, although did fail in his pursuit of the unified titles in a loss to Anthony Joshua.
Joseph Parker went into his fight with Anthony Joshua in 2018 as an undefeated WBO heavyweight champion.
Despite a spirited battle on the night, the New Zealand fighter was to lose by unanimous decision, and was then defeated by Dillian Whyte four months later.
Parker has since bounced back with victories over Alexander Flores, Alex Leapai and Shawndell Winters.
Luis Ortiz is another highly experienced name in tier five, having turned professional back in 2010.
The Cuban, who is nicknamed ‘King Kong’, is renowned for his power and came exceptionally close to defeating Deontay Wilder when the two faced off in 2018.
Now 41, Ortiz is still waiting for his next fight, and even called out the returning Mike Tyson back in May.
A former European heavyweight champion, Kubrat Pulev has battled with – and defeated – some of the best in the business.
The menacing Bulgarian is currently the IBF mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua, with the two set to face off for the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.
Pulev went toe to toe with Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, suffering a fifth round knockout, but has recorded victories over Hughie Fury, Dereck Chisora and Kevin Johnson.
Michael Hunter is a four-time champion at professional level, as well as currently holding titles at both WBA and IBO level.
His most recent fight against Alexander Povetkin ended in a draw, whilst he has defeated the likes of Sergey Kuzmin and Alexander Ustinov.
Hunter took on Oleksandr Usyk in 2017 for the WBO junior heavyweight title but was unsuccessful, with that representing his sole loss in professional competition.
TIER 4 – Adam Kownacki, Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois, Oleksandr Usyk
Until March, Poland’s Adam Kownacki was unbeaten in professional boxing, having pulled off impressive victories against Charles Martin and Gerald Washington.
He failed to secure the vacant WBA Gold heavyweight title, losing out to Robert Helenius, but is still the current IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight champion.
An Olympic silver medallist, Joe Joyce turned professional at the relatively late age of 31.
He has, however, won all 11 of his fights up to this point, with 10 of those coming via knockout. Joyce is certainly one to watch over the coming years.
Daniel Dubois is another boxer with a bright future, the 23-year-old Brit having also won every one of the 15 professional fights he has entered.
He has received praise from the likes of Tyson Fury, and is also one of the hardest punchers on the circuit.
His most recent victory came in August, when he defeated Ricardo Snijders to retain the WBO International heavyweight title.
Oleksandr Usyk moved up to heavyweight last year, having dominated the cruiserweight division.
He is the only cruiserweight ever to hold all four major world titles simultaneously, having defeated Murat Gassiev, before then going on to dispatch Tony Bellew in what was his final fight at that level.
On heavyweight debut he saw off Chazz Witherspoon, and is scheduled to take on Dereck Chisora later in October.
TIER 3 – Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder
A multiple heavyweight champion, as well as a former kickboxer, Dillian Whyte has enjoyed a distinguished boxing career.
He defeated Anthony Joshua at amateur level, but lost to the same opponent when both stepped up to professional.
Whyte has beaten the likes of Dereck Chisora and Joseph Parker throughout his career, although did suffer just a second loss of his career to Alexander Povetkin back in August, to drop the WBC interim heavyweight title.
Deontay Wilder has just one blot on what is a top-class boxing copybook, but he's still not good enough in our eyes to make the top two tiers.
The defeat by Tyson Fury in February is his only loss in professional boxing, although the result of their first fight can be argued either way.
Regarded by many as having the most powerful right hand in boxing, Wilder has defeated the likes of Luis Ortiz and Dominic Breazeale.
TIER 2 – Anthony Joshua
At the time of writing, Anthony Joshua currently occupies second place in the heavyweight rankings, having comprehensively defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. in a rematch last year.
It is their first encounter, however, that suggests Joshua may be vulnerable when coming up against either of the ‘Big Three’ fighters.
Ruiz’s victory by TKO was dubbed the “shock of the century” by Newsroom, with the Mexican only stepping in to fight Joshua just a month before the fight.
Apart from that defeat, however, the Brit has a flawless boxing record, registering 23 wins and 21 knockouts from 24 fights.
TIER 1 – Tyson Fury
The WBC, Lineal and Ring Champion, Tyson Fury is still yet to be defeated in a professional boxing ring.
The Gypsy King dominated Deontay Wilder over seven rounds in Las Vegas in February, having recorded a controversial draw against the American in their previous fight in 2018.
He has won 30 times out of 31 fights, with 21 knockouts, defeating the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, Dereck Chisora and Kevin Johnson.
Fury says he is a top tier heavyweight, and you would be hard pressed to find many that would disagree with him.
He was scheduled to fight Wilder again on December 19 to complete their trilogy of fights, but that date has been scrapped and it remains to be seen whether there will be a new date set up.
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