It looks like 2019 may well be one of the biggest years in heavyweight boxing history after 2018 saw three men put their hands up and claim to be the world’s best.
Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder squared off a little over a month ago in a fight that will go down in heavyweight folklore following a controversial draw.
Many thought Fury dominated the fight and deserved victory, however, Wilder knocked the English man down twice, with the second knockdown likely to be remembered for a lifetime following Fury’s determination to get back up seconds after it looked like he was out.
The aftermath of the fight felt like somewhat of a moral victory for Tyson Fury. Following his win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, Fury spiralled into a battle with depression that almost cost him his life.
After two years out, Fury defied the odds to lose almost 10 stone and return to boxing in 2018.
Following his almost miraculous comeback, Fury’s promoter Frank Warren now believes his story has captured the public imagination, making him a bigger commodity than Anthony Joshua, Fury’s rival who has swept all before him in the heavyweight division since his departure.
“He’s the people’s champion,” Warren told BBC Sport.
“I think he’s now a bigger attraction than Anthony Joshua. There’s no corporate element with him. You don’t have to go through 100 people. You just pick the phone up.
“He walks down the street and he hasn’t got an entourage of minders.
“Whoever he fights next, if Tyson Fury fights in this (England) country, it is going to be a sell-out, wherever he fights.”
Despite the hope that the pair will finally clash in 2019, boxing fans are aware that the score must first be settled between Fury and Wilder following their classic encounter with Warren confirming that he is in negotiations about an upcoming rematch.
“At the moment I’m talking with Shelly Finkel, who looks after Wilder,” Warren continued, “We are trying to get the rematch together.
“Tyson only wants big fights. There’s only two big fights out there – that’s Wilder, and that’s Joshua.
“Joshua doesn’t even want to fight him because I think he knows he’ll get beat.”