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Rankings: Joshua Takes Over At Heavyweigh

In 2012, Joshua won the Olympic super heavyweight gold medal for Great Britain, become a mega star at home and steamrolled his way to becoming a unified world titleholder

He faced by far the biggest challenge of his career on April 29 when he met former longtime world champion Wladimir Klitschko before a sold-out crowd of 90,000 at London's Wembley Stadium in one of the great atmospheres ever and they produced an all-time classic heavyweight title fight that more than lived up to the hype.

Joshua survived a knockdown and many difficult moments to score three total knockdowns in a dramatic 11th-round knockout victory as he retained his title and also claim a vacant belt. Klitschko has the right to a rematch, so that very well could be next for Joshua. Whomever he fights it's sure to be an entertaining fight.

Next: TBA

2. Deontay Wilder (38-0)

Wilder, a tremendous puncher, has scored knockouts in all five of his title defenses, including on Feb. 25 when he stopped Gerald Washington in the fifth round. It was Wilder's first fight since knocking out Chris Arreola in July; Wilder broke his right hand and tore his right biceps in that bout and required surgery to repair both injuries. He hopes to meet Joseph Parker (22-0) or Anthony Joshua (19-0) in a title unification fight next, but he might instead have to fight a pointless mandatory defense against undeserving Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1), the man he easily outpointed for the belt in January 2015.

Next: TBA

3. Wladimir Klitschko (64-5)

During his 9½-year title reign -- second longest in heavyweight history -- Klitschko successfully defended the title 18 times, third most in division history. He had an 11½-year undefeated run and won 22 fights in a row. But then he lost the title to England's Tyson Fury in November 2015 in a terrible fight and many thought Klitschko had grown old before their eyes. After a rematch with Fury was twice called off, Klitschko returned on April 29 and showed that he still has something left at age 41 as he came within a whisker of knocking out Anthony Joshua to reclaim two belts in an epic fight. He had Joshua down and in huge trouble but eventually lost by 11th-round knockout. Klitschko has the contractual right to a rematch. Most expect he will exercise the option.
Next: TBA

4. Luis Ortiz (27-0)

A 6-foot-4, 240-pound southpaw with raw power, Ortiz, a Cuban defector with tons of amateur experience, signed with adviser Al Haymon in March and was quickly added to the Shawn Porter-Andre Berto undercard to face journeyman Derric Rossy (31-12). However, Ortiz suffered a thumb injury and his fight was scrapped, though he remains a mandatory challenger for the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko winner.

Next: TBA

Tyson Fury has told Anthony Joshua he would beat him with "one arm tied behind my back" and insisted that he is still the main man in heavyweight boxing.

Joshua called out former champion Fury following his sensational 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.

"[Tyson] Fury where you at, baby?" Joshua said while still in the ring.

Fury has responded to that call by pledging that he would reclaim two of his old titles by inflicting the first professional defeat on WBA and IBF heavyweight champion Joshua.

"Styles do make fights but I am sure I can beat AJ with one arm tied behind my back," Fury said in a Sky Sports interview.

"'I don't even need a warm-up if he wants this.

"I have been out of the ring as long as Klitschko but the difference is, I am not 41, I am 28."

Fury has not fought since winning a unanimous decision over Klitschko in November 2015.

The self-styled 'Gipsy King' surrendered the various titles he won in that fight to focus on his mental health problems.

Fury subsequently had his licence temporarily revoked by the British Boxing Board of Control.

He must wait to see if his licence is returned at a hearing next week, but Fury said from his training base in Marbella that he was delighted Joshua beat Klitschko.


5. Joseph Parker (22-0)

When Tyson Fury vacated his two sanctioning-body belts, it put New Zealand's Parker in position to face Andy Ruiz Jr. for one of the belts on Dec. 10. In one of the biggest sporting events in New Zealand history, Parker overcame a slow start and managed to edge Ruiz by majority decision to claim the title and become his country's first heavyweight titleholder. Parker's first defense was scheduled to be a mandatory against Hughie Fury (20-0), Tyson's first cousin, in New Zealand. But Fury pulled out with a supposed back injury two weeks before the bout, leaving Parker's team to scramble before settling on substitute opponent Razvan Cojanu (16-2) of Romania.

Next: May 6 vs. Cojanu

6. Kubrat Pulev (25-1)

Bulgaria's Pulev, who got knocked out in a title shot against then-world champion Wladimir Klitschko in November 2014, has won four in a row since. On Dec. 3, Pulev's first fight in his home country, he hammered washed-up, out-of-shape former titlist Samuel Peter for three rounds. Peter quit with an apparent arm injury just after the bell rang to begin the fourth round. Pulev returned for his fifth win in a row, also at home, as he rolled to a near-shutout decision against journeyman Kevin Johnson on April 28 to remain in position as one of Anthony Joshua's mandatory challengers.

Next: TBA

7. Andy Ruiz Jr. (29-1)

Ruiz, who has tremendous hand speed but is not always in the best condition, traveled to New Zealand to face Joseph Parker for a vacant title on Dec. 10 in a bid to become the first heavyweight of Mexican descent to win a world title. He came up just short of the goal, dropping a majority decision in a fight that was exceptionally close.

Next: TBA

8. Dillian Whyte (20-1)

Whyte, the former British champion, outpointed former world title challenger Dereck Chisora on Dec. 10 in an epic slugfest that was one of the best fights of 2016. The victory was Whyte's fourth in a row since a knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in December 2015, and he deserves another meaningful fight. He'll be back to face Poland's Mariusz Wach (33-2), a former world title challenger, in an interesting fight.
Next: June 3 vs. Wach

9. Dominic Breazeale (18-1)

A 2012 U.S. Olympian, Breazeale gave a good account of himself in a seventh-round knockout loss challenging Anthony Joshua for his world title in June 2016 and bounced back to stop previously undefeated Izuagbe Ugonoh in the fifth round of a hellacious see-saw battle on Feb. 25 in a candidate for fight of the year.

Next: TBA

10. Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller (18-0-1)

New York's Miller has a big body, a big punch and a big personality. In August 2016, he knocked out battle-tested veteran Fred Kassi in the third round but has not fought since because he is embroiled in a dispute with promoter Dmitry Salita. They need to work things out already.

Next: TBA

Tyson Fury has told Anthony Joshua he would beat him with "one arm tied behind my back" and insisted that he is still the main man in heavyweight boxing.

Joshua called out former champion Fury following his sensational 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.
Fury has not fought since beating Wladimir Klitschko on points in November, 2015. AP Photo/Martin Meissner

"[Tyson] Fury where you at, baby?" Joshua said while still in the ring.

Fury has responded to that call by pledging that he would reclaim two of his old titles by inflicting the first professional defeat on WBA and IBF heavyweight champion Joshua.

"Styles do make fights but I am sure I can beat AJ with one arm tied behind my back," Fury said in a Sky Sports interview.

"'I don't even need a warm-up if he wants this.

"I have been out of the ring as long as Klitschko but the difference is, I am not 41, I am 28."

Fury has not fought since winning a unanimous decision over Klitschko in November 2015.

The self-styled 'Gipsy King' surrendered the various titles he won in that fight to focus on his mental health problems.

Fury subsequently had his licence temporarily revoked by the British Boxing Board of Control.

He must wait to see if his licence is returned at a hearing next week, but Fury said from his training base in Marbella that he was delighted Joshua beat Klitschko.

"It was an excellent fight, very entertaining and enjoyable and I was screaming for AJ to smash him," Fury said.

"I wonder what people would be saying today if Klitschko had done him in the sixth.

"I was screaming, pulling my hair out -- or what little hair I've got left -- because I was worried it would cost us millions!

"He showed a lot in that fight. He showed he can get dropped and come back, which is what champions are made of.

"He showed he can recover from taking big shots.

"There's only one fight out there, the biggest fight in the world and everyone knows that. It is the heavyweights, it is me and AJ, no one else.

"It is the only one the world wants to see and I am here, I am the lineal champion, I am still No. 1 in the world and everybody knows that.

"We all saw [his career] had a life and death situation against Klitschko, but Klitschko couldn't land a glove on me."

Fury criticised Joshua's muscular physique, describing the 27-year-old as "a pumped-up weightlifter".

"AJ did really well to come back but I am not 41 or getting old," Fury said.

"He is just a pumped-up weightlifter but [Klitschko] couldn't land one of those of those hooks on me, at all.

"I would just like to congratulate AJ for getting through the nip-and-tuck, life-and-death situation, against an old man, so well done.

"But let's face it, I am the man, the No. 1 in the division.

"There can only ever be one heavyweight, especially in our part of the world, and it's me. It definitely isn't a pumped-up heavyweight, I can tell you that."



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