Heavyweight rankings: Fury supreme, Whyte falls

Boxing’s marquee division is booming right now, and our heavyweight rankings are designed to help you navigate a complicated landscape.

Our fully updated rankings give you an idea of how the division currently shapes up as we head deeper into the boxing year. Our latest updates major on Tyson Fury’s impressive defeat of Dillian Whyte – and what it means for the landscape.

Heavyweight rankings: World top 10

Our rankings are based on achievement and analysis, and they ignore the current ratings of the sport’s alphabet sanctioning bodies. And they will be updated after all major fights affecting our top 10:

1 Tyson Fury (32-0-1)

The WBC, Ring magazine and lineal world heavyweight champion, Fury thoroughly deserves his position atop the mountain right now following another epic performance in that UK homecoming vs Dillian Whyte on April 23, 2022. In front of more than 94,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium, Fury was peerless as he first befuddled and then battered ‘The Body Snatcher’. Whyte appeared to be gassed three rounds in as ‘The Gypsy King’ boxed smartly – Dillian just could not get close enough to pull the trigger. The coup de grace was a beauty when it came – a picture-perfect uppercut at the end of the sixth round. Now we can only hope that Fury doesn’t go through with his stated plan to retire (we don’t believe him) and that next is that long-awaited undisputed showdown with the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2.

Next Fight: tbc

2 Oleksandr Usyk (19-0)

The slick former cruiserweight king became a world champion in two weight classes when he comprehensively outpointed Anthony Joshua in front of more than 67,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The Ukrainian, who struck Olympic gold en route to a 335-15 amateur record before turning pro, claimed the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles in the process. He also wrecked any prospect in the near future of Joshua facing British rival Fury in that eagerly-hoped-for unification match. Usyk was brilliant on the night, showing the elite ringcraft we knew he possessed, but also standing in the pocket to unleashing blinding flurries which had AJ struggling to stay on his feet as the final bell sounded. Next up will be a rematch vs Joshua on August 20 in Saudi Arabia.

Next Fight: Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 (August 20, 2022)

3 Anthony Joshua (24-2)

Joshua had already lost his world titles once – in that first professional defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019 – and now he has done it again. This time he came unstuck against the master of the sweet science that is Oleksandr Usyk. The Watford man avenged the loss to Ruiz Jr with a masterful boxing display in their rematch in Saudi Arabia in December 2019, and now he will need to do the same against Usyk. Only this time it’s different. Then AJ turned from puncher to boxer to beat Ruiz, this time he will likely have to show more aggression to turn the tables on the Ukrainian. Trying to play chess with the grand master went horribly wrong in their first meeting, and Joshua must change tack for the rematch.

Next Fight: Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2 (August 20, 2022)

4 Deontay Wilder (42-2-1)

Wilder lost for a second time to Fury on October 9, but as with many of the greatest fights in heavyweight history, the loser left with his reputation enhanced. All the excuses from that second fight in February 2020 were forgotten as Deontay showed amazing heart and courage to somehow hang with Fury for 11 brutal rounds at T-Mobile Arena. He came very close to gaining the redemption he so craved when he had the Brit down twice – as he had done in their first meeting in 2018. Coming in a career-heaviest 238lbs may not have been the smartest move – while it added power it also appeared to leave Wilder gassed by the halfway stage. He showed real cojones though to stay upright and continue to wing away with right hands well into the penultimate session. Props to a spectacularly entertaining fighter who is still good enough to beat anybody not named Fury. There are a ton of fights we’d like to see him in now, but if he did decide to ride off into the sunset, he’d do so with his reputation fully intact.

Next Fight: tbc

5 Andy Ruiz Jr (34-2)

Maintains his position at #4 after returning from a 17-month hiatus with a unanimous decision over Chris Arreola in Carson, California. Andy was down in Round 2 and hurt badly in the third before recovering to post a comfortable victory. He again showed the high motor and blurring hand speed we know he possesses. And under the tutelage of Eddy Reynoso, he also appears to have found discipline – coming in 27lbs lighter than he did for the rematch with Anthony Joshua in 2019. The way Arreola was able to get to him – particularly early – showed he must beware getting drawn into brawls. Some enticing options for what comes next – Luis Ortiz might be the favourite though we love potential matchups with Dillian Whyte and the aforementioned Wilder.

Next Fight: tbc

6 Joseph Parker (29-2)

Parker was favoured to defeat Dereck Chisora in their recent pay-per-view matchup, but he didn’t do enough to advance his ranking in this list. The margin of victory was wafer-thin – a split decision with the deciding card reading 115-113. And Parker had to recover from a very shaky start highlighted by suffering a knockdown just seven seconds into the bout. The way Parker – with Andy Lee heading up his corner for the first time – recovered to dominate later on was commendable. But he still has us unconvinced yet that he can really threaten the top four or five men on this elite list. Parker duly won the rematch with Chisora in late 2021, and next up could be a fascinating showdown with Joe Joyce.

Next Fight: tbc

7 Michael Hunter (20-1-1)

Very few top heavyweights want a piece of ‘The Bounty’ – he couldn’t even get a bite when he offered to fight Dillian Whyte for free recently. Instead the Californian’s latest outing was a much less taxing assignment against a 38-year-old career cruiserweight in Mike Wilson. Hunter did was expected, dominating throughout en route to a highlight-reel fourth-round knockout, and knocked off any rust caused by having just one fight in 19 months. Much bigger and stiffer tests – we hope – are coming up next.

Next Fight: tbc

8 Joe Joyce (13-0)

‘The Juggernaut’ is now a fixture in the top 10 after his latest victory came via an impressive stoppage of French warhorse Carlos Takam in July. That was another step in the right direction for Joyce, who had earlier handed the much-heralded Daniel Dubois his first professional defeat in their eagerly-awaited showdown last November. The 35-year-old made his experience count by executing a plan to perfection against the 23-year-old Dubois (now 15-1). Joe used a stiff left lead to produce swelling around Dubois’ left eye from an early stage. By Round 10 the eye was closed and Daniel took a knee to be counted out. Joyce will be a match for most elite heavyweights, he has a granite chin and a relentless style – he just keeps on coming whatever you throw at him.

Next Fight: Joe Joyce vs Christian Hammer (July 2, 2022)

9 Dillian Whyte (28-3)

Whyte falls one place after that hugely disappointing defeat vs Fury in that long-awaited world title shot in April 2022. Dillian – 6lbs heavier than he had been for that rematch win vs Alexander Povetkin – looked slow and ponderous when matched with the freakish athletic puzzle provided by Fury. He could not get close to ‘The Gypsy King’, could not pull the trigger and looked like a club fighter at times. Whyte looked gassed after three rounds and by the sixth he was ready to go, cue that perfect uppercut from Fury. Such was the level of Whyte’s performance, it’s difficult to see a way back to the summit right now. That may have been his one and only chance.

Next Fight: tbc

10 Filip Hrgovic (13-0)

Like Joyce, an exciting and unbeaten prospect, and one we can see going a long way. Hrgovic easily disposed of the hitherto unbeaten Marko Radonjic in his most recent outing in early September, and has heavy hands and a mean streak all big men need. Nobody it appears fancies locking horns with Hrgovic right now – mooted match-ups with both Michael Hunter and Joseph Parker never happened earlier this year. He yearns for a step up in class but who wants a piece of him?

Next fight: tbc

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