by Kelsey McCarson
The demise of the heavyweight division has been greatly exaggerated.
Despite the mainstream boxing media’s lack of attention to the bigger guys in the sport, boxing’s heavyweight division actually has some excellent fights that can and should be made. For this edition of our dream fight scenario, let’s have a look at the three that I would want to see the most.
Tyson Fury (15-0, 10 Kos) vs Mike Perez (16-0, 12 Kos)
Neither of these guys could sell out an arena on their own just yet but put them in the ring together and there would some real fireworks.
Fury just outslugged the previously undefeated Dereck Chisora to become the British and Commonwealth champion, but it’s not the title belt that makes Fury interesting as a heavyweight fighter but rather the way he won it that sets him apart. The 6’9” Fury didn’t take the easy path. He didn’t stay at a distant and pepper his opponent with long jabs. Nope, Fury stood in the pocket and willingly traded shots with Chisora, and the best part is that seemed to genuinely enjoy it.
Meanwhile, Mike Perez is somewhat of an unknown quantity – but what we do know is that he has something fight fans can’t help but be excited about: Perez fights like a bowling ball of thunder. The smallish Cuban fighting out of Ireland brings the pain with just about every punch he throws. Watching him wail away at his opponents brings back memories of a young, relentless Mike Tyson.
Perez is exciting but he really hasn’t stepped up to face genuine competition. A fight against Fury would be just that.
The best part is that this one may actually be on the table. According to Boxrec.com, Fury’s team has already reached out to try and make this dream fight a reality. I’m skeptical that it is anything more than something to get Fury’s name out there a little more. Undefeated prospects don’t typically fight each other so soon but if it does happen, Fury would have to be the favorite if anything simply based on his last performance.
The fight would be great for the sport. Both fighters like to punch early and often – something the heavyweight division currently lacks.
David Haye (25-2, 23 Kos) vs Chris Arreola (33-2, 28 Kos)
If this one happens, you’d better not blink.
Both Haye and Arreola and fought the very best in the division and both men ended up coming a bit short. Obviously neither fighter is ready to be the very best in the division, but both are excellent fighters who can end a fight with one punch.
David Haye talked himself into the fight against Wladimir Klitsckho last June, but he wasn’t able to deliver a win. What he did show in the fight though, broken toe and all, was the ability to be elusive. Already being known as a fighter who possessed tremendous punching power, Haye proved at the very least that he’d be a formidable test for any heavyweight in the division not named Klitschko. Wladimir Klitschko has jab few fighters can escape, but Haye made him miss repeatedly in the fight.
Chris Arreola has fallen short against a Klitschko, too. When he entered the ring against Vitali Klitschko in 2008, Arreola was sure he’d be able to overcome his suspect training methods to outslug the champion with grit and determination. He was wrong, and by the end of the 10th round he was deemed unfit to continue. Still, Arreola has shown big power in other fights and is decently skilled for a big man. Recently, Arreola has recommitted himself to training so the weight issues that plagued him in the past no longer seem an issue.
If David Haye were able to test himself against Chris Arreola, it’d be great for boxing. Both fighters love the mic and it would certainly be a slug fest for however long in lasted. In the end, I see David Haye coming out the victor thanks to his quick hands and tremendous power. Of couse, I’m assuming he has the funciton of all ten toes this time.
Vitali Klitschko (42-2, 39 Kos) vs Wladimir Klitsckho (56-3, 49 KOs)
Part of me really hopes this one actually happens, but the other part of me believes it to be an abomination. I mean really – brother versus brother? Could they actually fight each other and live with the consequences?
In the end though I come out on the side that believes it could be done in a way that shows both the tremendous value of the sport we love and the great sportsmanship of these two excellent competitors.
One thing is quite clear: both Vitali and Wladimir are world class fighters who have won at the very highest level. Each has dominated the heavyweight division at one time or another, and both are extremely gifted athletes. Both heavyweights are all-time great caliber heavyweight champions.
But if these guys actually meet in the ring, I’d be hard pressed not to give Vitali the slight edge over his baby brother. Vitali, while maybe not quite as gifted physically, just seems like the better fighter. He’s smart, powerful and has a great chin. And when it comes down do it, he seems downright meaner.
And besides, don’t big brothers always win the fight?
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