Where does Tyson Fury’s victory leave the world heavyweight scene?
The WBC has now officially ordered Tyson Fury to defend his green bracelet against mandatory challenger and British rival Dillian Whyte in light of the news that the Gypsy King side has entered talks with Anthony Joshua, ahead of a possible undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk. Now the heavyweight landscape has just become much clearer and Express Sport is evaluating five fights that could materialize in the New Year …
Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte
Both sides now have 30 days to negotiate a deal or the fight will go to the stock market offers.
Fury has already made it clear that despite Whyte’s grueling wait for a world title, he won’t take any prisoners when they trade leather in a long-awaited grudge match.
The all-British dusting may not be the sexiest fight in the division, but the build-up promises to be spectacular after several crass online feuds between the two.
Whyte was forced to retire from his fight with Otto Wallin on Halloween at the O2 Arena as Fury enters the fight after one of the best wins of his career against Deontay Wilder in the final chapter of their historic trilogy.
Ring rust could play a part in this fight and with Fury on the biggest run of his career, there’s no denying Whyte is a huge underdog. But that won’t put it in phase.
Cardiff and Manchester are two possible destinations for this fight based on the reports, while London cannot be ruled out.
Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte set to sign up in 2022
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2
If the Fury and Whyte teams are able to negotiate a deal, we are now set to see the rematch between Usyk and Joshua take place in early 2022.
AJ has admitted he would be willing to consider stepping down if Fury’s side made financial sense, but redemption for his loss at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is what matters most.
Joshua may have to shake up his corner if he is to maximize his chances of becoming a three-weight world champion after being totally outclassed by the southpaw at the end of September.
In the other corner, Usyk isn’t worried who he’ll fight next as he looks to make his first successful defense from his belts.
The rematch could land in London again, while there is also talk of Saudi Arabia, where Joshua beat Andy Ruiz Jr in his rematch in December 2019.
Anthony Joshua to face Oleksandr Usyk in 2022, barring late changes
This is the fight everyone wants to see and now there is a very high chance that it will happen in late 2022.
The winner of Fury vs Whyte and the winner of Usyk vs Joshua are set to meet later in the year, provided there are no complications with every fight.
In an ideal world, UK fans will be able to see the fight that was taken away from them in August – Fury vs. Joshua, for all marbles.
The saga boomed for more than six months before Fury’s arbitration with Wilder threw an important key in the works, as he was ordered to catch up with the Alabaman.
Fury vs Joshua remains the greatest fight in boxing history, but now there seems to be a reasonable chance we may never see it.
Joshua claims he would still be ready to fight Fury even without belts, but the Gypsy King is unlikely to give him the opportunity to become champion if he doesn’t bring in any belts.
Both Whyte and Usyk will be keen to stress that they are not a stepping stone and if this division’s history is anything to follow, expect the unexpected.
Express Sport assesses which heavyweight fights could take place in 2022
Deontay Wilder vs. Andy Ruiz Jr
It’s an easy match to make considering the duo both fight on PBC in the United States.
Ruiz Jr has previously stated that he would be keen to face Wilder next – which means any final decision on a fight could simply be up to the Bronze Bomber.
That’s because Wilder has yet to fully commit to a fight after his 11-round war with Fury in Las Vegas in October, a fight that is likely to wreak havoc on his body.
Should Wilder decide to continue, a competitive fight against Ruiz could be the perfect way to facilitate his return.
It’s still a dangerous fight, but at the end of the day, it’s a fight he should win if he aspires to take on Joshua and Usyk further.
Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jr would be an easy fight to do
Joe Joyce vs. Luis Ortiz
2021 was shaping up to be so positive for Joe Joyce after his impressive stoppage from Daniel Dubois in November 2020 but for some reason things didn’t work out for The Juggernaut.
He managed to stop another top 15 contender at Carlos Takam earlier in the year, but Joyce was set to face Usyk in a final eliminator before the WBO ordered Joshua to defend his belts against the ‘Ukrainian this summer.
With Fury now set to take on Whyte and Usyk against Joshua, Joyce’s world title aspirations have run into another problem.
In the meantime he needs to stay busy and what better way to do it than to get on the ropes with Luis Ortiz.
The Cuban shared the ring with Wilder (twice) and Whyte in his day, but it’s still a winnable fight for Joyce.
His co-promoter Sam Jones has already pulled the strings, but Ortiz has a New Year’s Day showdown with Charles Martin to come out first.
If he failed to beat the former IBF World Champion, Martin could also be a suitable opponent for Joyce.