THE heavyweight golden era, the one we were promised, the one we’ve all been waiting for, might have sneaked up and arrived without us even knowing it. After all, the history books are only kind once they’ve been written and maybe, when we eventually look back and put pen to paper, Tyson Fury upsetting longstanding champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 will be pinpointed as the moment when the good times started to roll.
Within a few weeks of that momentous changing of the guard, two young unbeaten British heavyweights engaged in a bad-tempered slugfest inside London’s O2 Arena as Anthony Joshua survived an early scare to pummel the resistance out of Dillian Whyte in seven rounds. Fury soon lost his balance at the top, and his three belts, without stepping foot in the ring. Over in America, loose-screwed WBC champion Deontay Wilder started his own tightrope dance while cannoning the likes of Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupass and Artur Szpilka into the air.
In New Zealand, Joseph Parker picked up the WBO title with a tight and contentious victory over Andy Ruiz Jnr while Joshua flattened all-comers to set up a spine-tingling showdown with Wladimir Klitschko in 2017, which added the WBA strap to Anthony’s IBF championship at Wembley Stadium. It would be the first of four consecutive stadium fights for “AJ” as he halted a game Carlos Takam in 10, outpointed Parker in a unification tussle over 12 before emerging from an early crisis to knock out Alexander Povetkin in a seriously entertaining battle.