The Best Heavyweight Boxers of the 21st Century
Which heavyweights of the 21st century are destined to go down in history alongside the likes of Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson and Rocky Marciano? The following boxers from the last two decades are sure to be household names in the world of boxing for a long time to come.
At present, many consider Anthony Joshua to be the best active heavyweight in the world. By looking back at his accolades from the past decade, it’s easy to see why he deserves that reputation.
The British boxer is a two-time unified heavyweight champion, having won the titles of WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO. He most recently reclaimed the unified heavyweight champion title by beating Andy Ruiz Jr by unanimous points decision in December 2019. Joshua’s career record is impressive, to say the least. Out of 24 fights, he has 23 wins and only one loss, and he won an incredible 21 matches by knockout. At the regional level, the 30-year-old has held onto the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles from 2014 to 2016. He also won a silver medal as an amateur in the super-heavyweight division at the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships and brought home a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. In 2017, his win against Wladimir Klitschko was named Fight of the Year by both the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring. Joshua’s next fight, against Kubrat Pulev, is expected to be held in the UK this year. If you can’t wait for the match to come around, you could always soak up the thrill of a boxing match by getting into the ring yourself with an online game like Fisticuffs at Casumo.com, in which you’ll be transported back to the boxing arena of the early 1900s. You’ll find plenty of other sports games, table games, and slot games at Casumo as well.
The statistics for Wladimir Klitschko’s fights speak for themselves. The Ukrainian is one of the most competitive, diverse, and successful boxers of the late 20th century and early 21st century.
He began his professional career in 1996 and announced his retirement in 2017. Over those years, Klitschko held the world heavyweight championship title twice, including the super WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO. He also holds the record for the longest-ever cumulative heavyweight title reign, at 4,382 days as world champ. And he defeated 23 opponents for the world heavyweight title, which is the most in history. In 2015, BoxRec ranked Klitschko as the best active boxer, pound for pound, in the world. With exceptional knockout power, a deadly jab, and 250lbs of pure muscle, combined with high intelligence, Klitschko dominated virtually all of his opponents in the ring. His distinctive way of boxing made it look as though he was playing a game of chess rather than the type of brawl that so many other matches come across like. Wladimir Klitschko is not only one of the best heavyweight boxers of the 21st century. He’s also undoubtedly one of the best heavyweight champions of all time.
The current star of modern heavyweight boxing is undoubtedly the charismatic Tyson Fury. He has 29 wins to his name, only one draw, and no defeats.
In 2015, he managed to defeat reigning world champion Wladimir Klitschko to win the super unified WBA, WBO, IBO, IBF, The Ring magazine, and lineal heavyweight titles. Fury’s win was arguably the biggest shock in boxing since James Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson back in 1990. The match against Klitschko also earned Fury The Ring’s Fighter of the Year title. Unfortunately, Fury’s mental health deteriorated after winning the world titles, and he didn’t box for about two and a half years. But he made his return to the ring in 2018, where he put in an impressive performance against the WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder. The fight ended in a controversial split draw. Boxing fans are hotly anticipating the rematch, though. There’s not long to wait now, as it is scheduled to take place on February 22 this year at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.