By Gav Duthie: We may only have two years to get fights between heavyweights Oleksandr Usyk, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, and Anthony Joshua. We’ve had five so far, but most of them haven’t faced each other. Considering their ages, we won’t be seeing them for long. Hopefully it will be an interesting couple of years, but after that, who will take over? Who will be champion if these four retire?
Can we be in a situation where a heavyweight team loses its stars with no one to cheer us on? Back when Lennox Lewis retired, Vitaly was injured, and Wladimir was not ready yet, we had champions like Siarhei Liakhovich, Samuel Peter, Sultan Ibragimov, Oleg Maskaev, Chris Byrd, and the late Corrie Sanders, who despite being enough fighters. he did not catch the eye. There are a few who look like they can keep running the division. But who are the runners and riders? Due to this article, contestants must be 30 or under and have competed professionally at least five times. Here he goes.
Agit Kabayel 22-0 (14)
The German fought against Derek Chisora in 2017 but, unfortunately, he has not done anything since then. He gave up the European title in order to continue fighting, but he actually went back. A fight at the end of 2021 with Tyson Fury fell through, and his only exit for 2022 was against Pavel Sour. He was also scheduled to face fellow countryman and former cruiserweight Marco Huck, but too many setbacks ultimately pulled the fight for good. Kabayel will also compete again in the EBU Cup against the Frenchman Tony Yoka who won the gold medal, but after losing to Martin Bakole, he lost his place.
There’s no big news on any fight coming up for him other than he’s in a fight with Tyson Fury, but he’s not on this list. He’s a good boxer with good moves, but no one is interested in fighting him, and he doesn’t seem to have enough popularity to force a big chance.
Highest ranking in the world: WBA is ranked 7th
Next World Champion: Impossible
Jermaine Franklin 21-0 (14)
Like Kabayel, his career has been stagnant. Back-to-back wins over Rydell Booker, and Jerry Forrest gives him a good look. He has fought only once since the cholera outbreak against journeyman Rodney Moore. It is rumored that he will face Dillian Whyte in November, but they were supposed to fight before, but it did not happen.
Franklin is decent, but I’ll give my full support to Whyte to be the better man if the fight goes down. America will probably look elsewhere for their next star.
Highest ranking in the world: WBO is ranked 13th
Future World Champion: No chance
Filip Hrgovic 15-0 (12)
It is likely that the next shot at the world title will be the great Croat. Hrgovic got a win over Zhileil Zhang on the card of Usyk/Joshua 2. He was amazing with his stop/start style but he did almost enough to defeat Zhang.
As for the obligations, it seems that the WBO will be next because the IBF has not had any obligations until recently. Knowing the IBF, though, and considering the Tyson Fury/Vyacheslav Glaskov situation, where Fury was disqualified for not facing him, it is certain that Hrgovic will get that shot at some point. If Usyk leaves, then the next big fighter is Andy Ruiz, followed by Anthony Joshua.
Highest World Ranking: IBF #1
Future world champion: sure
Daniel Dubois 18-1 (17)
The argument about whether or not the WBA regular title is the real world title will never be settled. Because of this story, I declare him a legitimate world champion. If it’s good for Roy Jones in 2004 and David Haye in 2009, then I call it legit. The fact that the title has been a nightmare since 2014 and he won against Trevor Bryan does not make Dubois a great challenge for the main fighters.
Arguably, he hasn’t improved his defense since losing to Joe Joyce, but his attacking weapons and his mental ability to come back are commendable. We won’t know how good he is until he overturns Joyce’s game or defends his opponent.
It is rumored that he will fight Kevin Lerena of South Africa next after the British Boxing Authority rejected the plan to fight Lucas Browne. Lerena is a former IBO cruiserweight champion, and I got the appeal. He’s a slick southpaw in Usyk’s mold, though obviously not on the same level. This fight will definitely test his abilities.
Highest ranking in the world: Regular WBA champion
Additional global titles: Yes
Martin Bakole 18-1 (13)
The younger brother of the WBC Cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu tried to get everyone to fight him. He seemed to be the leader of the dangerous, low-reward group after losing to Michael Hunter and he didn’t have such a big fan. After beating the big fan Sergey Kuzmin and, in particular, the Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka, he has a real chance to win the world championship. He’s improving all the time and coach Billy Nelson says he can beat anyone in the division.
Nelson recently mentioned Joyce as an opponent and gave Joshua a shot, too. He will still have to fight hard to get the chance, but he is moving in the right direction.
Highest World Ranking: WBA #4
Future World Champion: Probably not
Frank Sanchez 21-0 (14)
The incredible fight with Efe Ajagba put Cubans on the map. The fight was seen as 50/50, but Sanchez won almost every round and dropped the fiery Nigerian in the final stages of the fight. For some reason, the brakes seem to have been put on the slick fighter’s progress. He has boxed twice since the Fury/Wilder 3 win but against rivals Christian Hammer and Carlos Negron, which really doesn’t move him much.
He said he is targeting Joe Joyce next for a potential fight. He feels he is the best heavyweight talent in the world and has the talent to beat Joe. Joyce is already obligated to Usyk and the interim WBO champion, and I can’t see him risking his position for Sanchez. A fight with Ortiz could be a nice passing of the torch for the Cuban hopeful, but it’s unclear what Sanchez’s next step will be.
Highest World Ranking: WBC and WBO #3
Future World Champion: Yes
Justice Huni 6-0 (4)
Eddie Hearn mentioned a possible fight between Anthony Joshua and Demsey Mckean, who has a record of 22-0. Despite gaining 16 more wickets, Australia were more comfortable with Justis Huni. He beat two of the best in his country, Paul Gallen and Joseph Goodall. He was also an outstanding fan.
Highest World Ranking: Not in the top 15 of any
Future world champion: Potential
Jared Anderson 12-0 (12)
It is certainly the most marketable and America’s best hope for future success. Tyson Fury used him as a partner and declared that he was his replacement. After Anderson’s recent destruction of Rovcanin, he called out many of our top names.
He told Sky Sports that:
“Filip Hrgovic, Carlos Takam, Daniel Dubois, there are a million names I could mention, different people. All the competitors, the hopefuls, all the ones coming out, Luis Ortiz, Andy Ruiz, all of them, everyone. I want to do fight with everyone.”
From this list, it will probably be Takam, because it has a good level. The Frenchman is still active and has slightly exposed Makhmudov in his most recent fight despite losing. This will be a great tournament and one that will show just how good Anderson is.
Highest World Ranking: Not in the top 15 of any
Future World Champion: Of course
Lenier Pero 8-0 (5)
Frank Sanchez may be the Cuban on everyone’s lips right now, but Pero is considered the best fan. Sanchez couldn’t make it to the Olympics ahead of Pero, Erislandy Savon, or Jose Larduet, which hastened Sanchez’s decision to turn pro. Pero beat Sanchez 5 times in the players. Pero is a slick southpaw with quick hands and good defense but can also hit.
He signed with PBC, so a rematch with Sanchez is entirely possible.
Highest World Ranking: WBA #7
Future World Champion: If he gets the chance Yes
Bakhodir Jalolov 11-0 (11)
The Uzbekistani was already 8-0 as a professional when he won Olympic gold in Japan in 2021. He is now 11-0, winning both by knockout and by knockout. An impressive record, but he hasn’t faced anyone important as a pro. He also played in the 2016 Olympics where he lost to Joe Joyce and was beaten five times by a potential Ivan Dychko 12-0 (11) (He is not eligible for this series at the age of 32).
Highest World Ranking: Not in the top 15 with any
Future World Champion: Nope