Deontay Wilder may be on the outside looking in for a world-title shot, but he is a notable newcomer at #4 in the latest WBO heavyweight rankings.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ was left frustrated after his trilogy match with Tyson Fury, planned for the second half of 2020, failed to happen. That also meant his chances of swiftly regaining the WBC title he had lost in February 2020 went up in smoke.
Wilder remains prominent in the WBC rankings, but he’s now also high in the WBO list after being moved up in February 2021.
Deontay of course must now wait for a title shot, just like the other heavyweights who aren’t named Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua. They are expected to unify the titles this summer in the first fight of a two-bout deal.
Usyk vs Joyce up next?
WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk meanwhile is likely to face unbeaten Brit Joe Joyce with the interim title on the line. Former cruiserweight king Usyk (19-0) defeated Dereck Chisora on points to make it two from two at heavyweight. Joyce meanwhile earned his shot at Usyk with an upset defeat of the highly-touted Daniel Dubois.
Per Joyce’s promoter Frank Warren, negotiations for Usyk vs Joyce are at something of an impasse right now as the teams wait for the Fury vs Joshua chips to fall. If that fight goes ahead then so will Usyk vs Joyce. If it does not, then Usyk likely gets his immediate shot at AJ.
Former WBO champ, New Zealander Joseph Parker, remains at #3 on the list. He pulled out a close decision over UK warhorse Dereck Chisora in Manchester, England on May 1.
Yoka sneaks in
Two other new faces in the top 15 include 2016 Olympic super-heavyweight champion Tony Yoka (10-0). He defeated Joel Tambwe Djeko via a 12th-round stoppage in his latest outing.
Turkey’s Ali Eren Demirezen (14-1) is also in at #14. He stopped Nikola Milacic in Hamburg recently to claim the vacant WBO European heavyweight title. His only professional defeat remains a decision loss to another promising prospect Efe Ajagba in 2019.