Opinion | Jan 01 2019

19 fighters to watch in 2019

Looking at star names and rising prospects, John Dennen makes his picks for fighters who will have a big say in how 2019 unfolds, and highlights what they need to do in the year ahead
Tyson Fury
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury  |  Esther Lin/Showtime

Deontay Wilder is not the best heavyweight in the world – Anthony Joshua has a better track record and for many observers Tyson Fury deserved the decision in their controversial draw. But he is in a position to dictate the direction of his division, will he go for the undisputed unification with Joshua or try to resolve his unfinished business with Fury? What he needs to do is not waste time fighting uninspiring mandatory Dominc Breazeale.

  1. Callum Smith

Beating George Groves in such style to win the WBA super-middleweight world title, and the World Boxing Super Series, was a star-making performance for the Liverpudlian. To capitalise on that he’ll want to take on a big name, like Gennady Golovkin, at Anfield in his hometown.

  1. Oleksandr Usyk

The brilliant Ukrainian unified the cruiserweight division and beat Tony Bellew in England. Now he needs to move up to the heavyweight division and see if he can have an impact on the giants of the sport.