Boxing Still Matters: Chapter XII - Back to the Future
Chapter Twelve covers the big guys of the present era from 2011 to 2021. Beginning with “the Klitschko era” the heavyweights were dominated by the two Ukrainian brother Vladimir and Vitali Klitschko. The brothers were dominant over much of the decade. In 2015 a colorful, eccentric and troubled heavyweight finally toppled Wladimir to become world heavyweight champion. His name was Tyson Fury and yes he was named after Mike Tyson. Struggling constantly with depression, suicidal thoughts and his personal devils that prohibited him maintaining focus, he surrendered his plethora of heavyweight titles he had won in the ring.
Then, as suddenly as he had vacated his titles he announced a comeback and fought Deontay Wilder to a twelve-round draw. In the rematch, he dominated Wilder before stopping him in round #7 in February 2020, regaining The Ring and lineal titles.
The “other” heavyweight champion is of course, Anthony Joshua of Great Britain, the holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO titles. However Fury is the lineal champion. Disbarring a brief lending of his title to American Andy Ruiz Jr., and winning it back the same year, the fight that everyone wants and what must take place is Joshua vs Fury to give boxing one and only one heavyweight champion of the world.
From there, the chapter goes on to cover the cruiserweights and light heavyweights. Cruisers Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Mairis Briedis as well as light-heavies Artur Beterbiev, Sergey Kovalev and Oleksandr Gvozdyk lend a growing internationalism to the heavier classes. Chapter XII closes with coverage of the career of the great Super middleweight and light heavyweight champion Andre Ward.