When David Haye recently announced his probable retirement from boxing following an extensive shoulder operation, it seemingly exposed a dearth of suitable challengers to the Klitschko brothers in the heavyweight division. Fellow Briton and potential contender Tyson Fury is now seeking a new opponent after his planned bout with Haye was cancelled.
After becoming dominant as a cruiserweight, Haye decided to face the heavyweights and showed astute tactical awareness when beating the 7ft Russian Nicolai Valuev to claim the WBA title. A toe injury was blamed for his reduced mobility when outpointed by Wladimir Klitschko in 2010, but there have been recent reports of him seeking another title fight with his conqueror or tackling brother Vitali.
The planned fight with the Fury was billed as a possible eliminator for meeting either of the Ukrainians but an eye injury followed by this latest shoulder problem has created a vacuum for the unbeaten Mancunian. As the boxing world seeks a viable alternative to the Klitschko domination, Fury must also find and defeat a credible substitute opponent to be then considered worthy a fight for the heavyweight championship.
Latest rumours indicate that a bout with the unbeaten American Deontay Wilder may now be scheduled.
Not since the days of a younger Mike Tyson in the late 1980’s have the USA produced a fighter capable of dominating the heavyweight division. Evander Holyfield briefly tried but Tyson earned his fearsome reputation with quick knock-outs and seemingly endless aggression before succumbing to countless distractions out of the ring.
In his 30 professional fights, Wilder has never ventured beyond the fourth round and his record is reminiscent of Tyson in his formative years when under the wing of mentor and coach Cus D’Amato. The difference is that Wilder is more experienced at 28 years old and has a more settled lifestyle with a wife and two daughters to support..
The American has yet to be tested in the boxing ring and disposed of Briton Audley Harrison inside 70 seconds during April. It has also been reported that he recently sparred with David Haye and more than matched him in the ring. Tyson Fury will certainly underestimate Wilder at his peril.
Besides the American, there is also the unbeaten Cuban Luis Ortiz to consider who is less spectacular but has finished 17 of his 20 bouts inside the distance and Bryant Jennings who has won all 17 of his contents but appears to lack a genuine knock-out punch.
Hopefully, 2014 will be the year when the Klitschko supremacy is seriously challenged with several unbeaten heavyweights capable of enlivening a division which has appeared stale for several years.
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