Although 2017 was a great year for boxing, 2018’s pugilistic calendar is already filling up with plenty of fascinating heavyweight bouts.
Most of the newspaper headlines have been dominated by the fact that Tyson Fury is due for a comeback. A high profile bout against Anthony Joshua is certainly on the cards for 2018, but with Tyson Fury’s demands proving to be something of an issue, no date has been set for this bruising showdown just yet.
It will have been over two years since Fury famously deposed of Wladimir Klitschko to claim the world title. And the outspoken boxer is clearly keen to get back in the ring. This is especially true as Joshua the currently holds the IBF and WBA titles. Fury has routinely taken to social media to taunt Joshua back into the ring.
Fury has frequently come under fire for his activities outside of the sport – something the the press love to document. However, Joshua has taken a different route to boxing glory. Instead he keeps his mouth shut and puts in fearsome boxing displays.
No Joshing around
Joshua enjoyed a fantastic year’s boxing in 2017. Wembley Stadium usually hosts top-level football matches. But it was here that Joshua managed to demolish Wladimir Klitschko to prove that he is a serious contender.
With loads more emphatic performances, including a comprehensive victory over Carlos Takam at the Principality Stadium, Joshua will be looking to extend his perfect 20-0 record into 2018. Some may consider him not winning the Sports Personality of the Year award a snub. But there are many who hope that Joshua can continue his winning ways.
It remains to be seen how Joshua’s schedule will shape up for 2018, but it seems certain that this will be a make or break year for the boxing star. He has been the undisputed favourite for all his fixtures with betting sites like Betway for example, who also did a whole piece on him and his training and nutrition habits.
There are plenty of other challengers who will be keen to stop Joshua in his tracks. Both Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker were criticised by Joshua recently. And it’s interesting to think that Joshua is doing this ahead of potential fights with these boxers in 2018.
There are talks between the Joshua and Parker teams about an epic heavyweight bout next year. But it seems that there is still disagreements over how they will split the vast amounts of money that will be raised by the fight.
Haye’s day over?
There’s also the question of whether the veteran boxer, David Haye, can overcome the troubling injuries that have kept him out of the ring in recent times. Haye previously held the IBF and WBA belts. But he suffered a horrendous ruptured Achilles against Tony Bellew that put him out of action for many weeks.
While Haye represents boxing’s old guard, there are plenty of newcomers on the scene who are providing enough excitement. In particular, Dillian Whyte has been the subject of plenty of press attention recently.
The 29-year-old has been gradually rising up the rankings thanks to big victories against the likes of Robert Helenius. He has already been talking up a potential bout against Deontae Wilder. All as a way to secure a highly anticipated showdown against Joshua. However, it looks like Whyte might have to take on Lucas Browne first in February at the O2 Arena.
With lots of other rising stars like Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois to keep an eye on, it seems that 2018 is going to be another epic year for British heavyweight boxing.