2023 has already been a great year in the Heavyweight Boxing Division.
Now 2024 promises to be equally as exciting.
Before that though, we have arguably the biggest and best night of heavyweight boxing in many a year as three main candidates for a World Title shot in 2024 will be in action, against opponents who with a win, could also catapult themselves into the frame.
You can already enjoy plenty of betting on this weekend’s Heavyweight boxing card at bet365 Sport, as well as February’s bout between the two current Heavyweight World Champions; Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
But first let’s clarify who is in action this coming weekend in what should be an incredible night of Heavyweight boxing.
Saturday’s “Day of Reckoning” In The Heavyweight Boxing Division
This Saturday it is the “Day of Reckoning” in the Heavyweight boxing division.
Two former World Champions, another rising star who wants a second shot at a world title, and three opponents who all feel a win could propel them into the world title scene sets the scene for an amazing night of boxing.
Also fighting on the same bill is Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion Dmitri Bivol, the man who defeated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at this weight to hold on to his belt. He will take on underdog and UK challenger Lyndon Arthur.
Jai Opetaia is another rising star on the bill as he takes on Ellis Zorro in the Cruiserweight division, defending his 23-0 record and his IBF and The Ring titles he won against Mairis Briedis in July 2022.
But it’s the biggest men that top the bill with former Heavyweight boxing champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder each having a potential warm-up (or eliminator) bout against a decent opponent ahead of potentially another World Title shot in 2024.
And Daniel Dubois is back in action after his controversial defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in the summer, as he takes on the Big Baby, American Jarrell Miller.
Let’s take a closer look at these heavyweight boxing division fights in particular.
The Heavyweight Boxing Division Bouts – 23rd December
- Anthony Joshua v Otto Wallin
Since losing his belts, Joshua has lost to Usyk for a second time and then defeated Jermaine Franklin on points somewhat unimpressively before knockout out Finland’s Robert Helenius in August last year. Joshua’s 3rd outing of 2023 will come against another Scandinavian, Otto Wallin.
The Swede has lost just once in his career, a points loss to Tyson Fury back in 2019. He has points wins over Murat Gassiev, Rydell Booker and Dominic Breazeale since then amongst others. He is similar in height, weight and age to his opponent and also boasts a similar record.
Tale of the Tape – Joshua v Wallin
|Record (W – L – D)
Our Tip – Joshua is currently 1/4 on to win the fight and those odds seem somewhat disingenuous to Wallin, who has a good record. That said, I do expect Joshua to win, but I feel this may well be another laborious fight that is decided on points. Joshua to win by decision is a 6/5 shot at bet365.
- Deontay Wilder v Joseph Parker
Since losing twice to Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder hasn’t been too busy. He has had one fight in October 2022, where it took him just a round to despatch the Finnish fighter Robert Helenius.
It is clear that the power is still very much there for Wilder and that is something is opponent, former WBO Champion Joseph Parker will need to be wary about.
The New Zealander went the distance in defeat to Anthony Joshua and did likewise against Dillian Whyte.
His most recent loss was in 2022 to Joe Joyce but he has won three bouts since, the last two in double quick time.
However, he will scarcely have come across as heavy a hitter as the Bronze Bomber in his career and I think he will do well to get to the later rounds, let alone the end of the fight.
Tale of the Tape – Wilder v Parker
|The Bronze Bomber
|Auckland, New Zealand
|Record (W – L – D)
Our Tip – The Bronze Bomber has lots of power advantage over Parker, who can take a good shot, but I think that Wilder’s power will end this one early. Take Wilder to win this in Round 2 at 14/1.
- Daniel Dubois v Jarrell Miller
After flooring Oleksandr Usyk with what was said to be a low blow, Daniel Dubois was eventually stopped in the 11th round by the reigning Champion. He claimed he was robbed of a victory in that fight, so it is with a sense of injustice he’ll approach this fight with Miller.
The Big Baby is aptly named, particularly for his antics outside of the ring where he has had run-ins with several boxers, including most recently, Anthony Joshua earlier in the week.
Miller has a good record on paper, but a closer examination reveals he hasn’t fought anyone genuinely world class and after a ban from 2018 to 2022, he has won his last three fights, but hardly in a fashion that would make him one of the genuine Boxing Heavyweight division contenders going forward.
Tale of the Tape – Dubois v Miller
|Dynamite or “Triple D”
|New York, USA
|Record (W – L – D)
Our Tip – I’m not a big fan of Miller, who lets his mouth do the talking more so than his ability. He has talent, but Dubois needs a redemption win here and I think he will get it. I’m backing Dubois to win in Round 5 at 18/1.
These three fights should go a long way towards sorting out which fighters are ready to challenge for the world title again.
However, before any of them can do that, there is the small matter of February’s unification bout between the two current Champions in the Heavyweight Boxing Division.
The Heavyweight Boxing Division Two Champions Clash To Unify The Division
Tyson Fury (WBC) v Oleksandr Usyk (IBF, IBO, WBA & WBO, The Ring)
- Venue – Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Date – 17th February 2024
Tale of the Tape
|The Gypsy King
|Record (W – L – D)
|WBC and Lineal
|WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring
What a match up this promises to be if it goes ahead. That’s a big ‘if’ as fights have fallen through in the past for both these opponents, so let’s hope nothing stops this February date.
It is a classic matchup between the polished, technical, outstanding boxer Usyk, against the giant, indomitable belief and huge boxing talent of Fury.
Usyk has beaten bigger men before, but not perhaps someone as big as the Gypsy King and that size difference does make many people feel this will be a step too far for the unbeaten Ukrainian.
Our Tip – Fury to win by KO, TKO or DQ – 15/4.
Looking Ahead to 2024 – Who Could Be In The Mix for a World Title Shot?
Obviously, the winner of the Fury v Usyk bout will call the shots in the heavyweight boxing division in 2024.
Who they face next may not depend on who wins though. Fury v Joshua is a fight many people have wanted to see for many years. Similarly, there are those who want to see Wilder take on Usyk.
Depending on how the fight in February goes, we could see a Joshua v Wilder eliminator for a shot at the winner, assuming both win their fights next Saturday.
However, in the unpredictable world of Heavyweight boxing, anything could happen and we could still see other big names come to the fore in 2024.