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10 of the best active American heavyweights

Deontay Wilder
Plenty have mocked the state of American heavyweight boxing in recent years. Here are 10 of the best the USA currently has to offer...

1) Andy Ruiz Jnr

Though proud of his Mexican heritage, Ruiz Jnr, the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight champion, was born in Imperial, California and represents the stars and stripes as well. He rose to fame in June when shocking the boxing world with a seventh-round stoppage of Anthony Joshua.

Andy Ruiz
Ruiz shocked the world on June 1, 2019

2) Deontay Wilder

Hard-hitting Wilder has won 40 of his 42 pro fights by knockout and the sole blemish on his record is a December draw against Tyson Fury. The Alabama native, currently the WBC champion, is arguably the most exciting heavyweight in the world.

Wilder decks Fury in December

3) Michael Hunter

Hunter started his career as a cruiserweight but has since moved to heavyweight and become something of a dark horse. In recent times he has upset Martin Bakole in Britain, Alexander Ustinov in Monte Carlo and last time out stopped Fabio Maldonado in two rounds. The only man to beat him, in fact, is the great Oleksandr Usyk.

4) Dominic Breazeale

Breazeale has had two shots at the world heavyweight crown and both times come up short. He was stopped inside seven rounds against Anthony Joshua in 2017 and then, two years later, blitzed in a round by Deontay Wilder. They remain the only two men to have beaten him.

5) Bryant Jennings

Jennings may have just lost back-to-back fights against Oscar Rivas and Joe Joyce, but he was competitive in both and is still a solid top 10 contender. He has wins over Mike Perez and Artur Szpilka, both unbeaten at the time, and lasted 12 rounds with Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

6) Charles Martin

His non-performance against Anthony Joshua in 2016 will always haunt him, but Martin, to his credit, has responded well and claimed one or two notable scalps in the intervening years. As a southpaw, he remains awkward, and as a former IBF world champion, he remains in the history books.

anthony joshua vs charles martin fight time
Martin’s reign was shortlived (Action Images/Peter Cziborra)

7) Chris Arreola

Arreola, like Ruiz Jnr, is a Californian with Mexican roots and fights with a similarly aggressive style. Past his best at 38, Arreola still went 12 rounds with hot prospect Adam Kownacki in his last fight and upset the undefeated Jean Pierre Augustin prior to that.

8) Jarrell Miller

Wins over the likes of Gerald Washington, Johann Duhaupas and Mariusz Wach, in addition to a 23-0-1 pro record, should probably see Miller ranked higher than eighth. But, unfortunately, all this good work was undone earlier this year when he was exposed as a drug cheat.

Jarrell Miller
Miller blew his chance when he was caught cheating (Action Images/Andrew Couldridge)

9) Gerald Washington

Six-foot-six Washington recently halted Robert Helenius to re-emerge in the heavyweight pack following stoppage losses to Adam Kownacki, Jarrell Miller and Deontay Wilder. Whether in victory or defeat, he tends to make it exciting.

10) Jermaine Franklin

Still an unknown entity, Franklin, a 25-year-old from Michigan, is unbeaten in 19 pro fights and has ended 13 inside schedule. His best opponent is a 38-year-old Rydell Booker but hopefully that changes soon.

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  • Why is repeated drug cheat Jarrell Miller even mentioned?
    One of the consequences of drug cheats like Miller should be that they’re not considered as part of the boxing scene for a time – so not written about or discussed for a period much longer than the pathetic 6 month ban he served.

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