Deontay Wilder’s vicious ninth round knockout of Arthur Szpilka has further ignited a boxing heavyweight division that was sparked by Tyson Fury’s recent victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
Yesterday’s victory saw the man known as the “Bronze Bomber” retain his WBC World Heavyweight title, whilst recording his 36th professional victory, his 35th via stoppage.
The post-match scenes resembled that more likely to be seen on WWE programming that in the recently borderline boring heavyweight scene.
For those who missed it, Tyson Fury, the man who recently dethroned the man who ruled the heavyweight division for over a decade, made his way into the ring to badmouth the WBC Champion.
Fury, who holds the WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO World Titles, called on Wilder to step up for a unified World Title fight, even offering to fight in front of Wilder’s US fans.
Suddenly a division that was ruled by one man capable of jabbing an opponent for 12 rounds, or knocking them out within a few rounds depending on which mood he was in, has been blow wide open and is drawing genuine interest.
Australia’s own Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne travels to Russia in early March to challenge Ruslan Chagaev for the WBA World Heavyweight Title.
A win would not only see Browne become Australia’s first Heavyweight champion, but would also set him up for possible unification bouts with Fury and/or Wilder.
Although Alex Leapai recently challenged for the championship, with all due respect, the 23-0 undefeated Browne is a far chance of landing the big prize due to his one punch knockout power.
Browne has 20 finishes in his 23 victories, while his opponent Chagaev has gone to decision twice in his past three fights, and has a knockout percentage of just 57%.
If Browne were to capture the gold, and through green and gold glasses I say he will, it stacks the heavyweight division with three champions with the ability to put any opponent to sleep with one shot.
Chagaev may not have the ability to ice opponents like his other three adversaries but he is undefeated since 2011 and is coming off a first firs knock out of Frenacesco Pianeta.
No matter which way the title fight in March goes, the scene is set up for at least two possible monster unification bouts.
The possibility of a Browne/Wilder matchup is especially exciting with both men delivering heated barbs over social media platform twitter.
Wilder has referred to Browne’s weight on numerous occasions, while Browne has pointed out that Wilder may have once or twice skipped leg day.
Tyson Fury is capable of talking down anyone in the division, whilst being able to back it up between the ropes.
To be honest, the past decade in the division became a story of “who will the Klitchko brothers destroy next”, with most fights being overlooked for Australia’s main pay-per-view provider Main Event due to lack of interest.
Wladimir Klitchko may go down as one of the greatest heavyweights in history, however his refusal to trash talk and his incredible size advantage, which made it difficult for smaller fighters to close the range.
Outside the World Title picture are wildcards such as New Zealand’s power punching Joseph Parker.
The 17-0 Parker is rated 11th on boxrec despite just the 17 fights, 15 which he has won via stoppage.
He has left a trail of carnage behind him only going past the fourth round once in his past eight fights.
Parker is yet to face any of the top few heavyweights in the division but the feeling is that it’s a matter of when rather than if for the super talented 24 year-old.
Russia’s Alexander Povetkin is ranked number three by boxrec and currently holds the silver heavyweight title, which puts him firmly in the title picture.
He has huge opportunities after cleaning out the competition in Russia and across Europe.
There are other brilliant fighters across the division, however looking at the title picture is a great indication of the strength of a weight class.
Right now we have three dominant champions, two of which can sell fights on both name value and their ability to draw attention.
If Browne were to capture the title, a potential clash with New Zealand’s Parker looms as a monster occasion. A World title fight on home soil against a talented Kiwi screams dollars.
The winner of that potential mega fight books himself a title unification fight with Wilder/Fury.
The possibilities are exciting as are potential matchups across the division.
We have Wilder and Fury to thank for that.