By: Ste Rowen
It’s weird out there isn’t it? Like watching a boxer training in the ring but not being allowed to punch.
Andy Ruiz is threatening to do some sit-ups?!
But fear not, boxing will return, without crowds for a while, but we all need to see someone punch someone else in the face to distract us from the mundanity of the lockdown.
Luckily there are some big human beings standing in the wings ready to give us our fix, break our hearts, and get all tied up in their own hype.
Out of sheer boredom, this list is compiled of the supposed next best heavyweights, and age is not a factor – this only counts for boxing, do not take that quote out of context.
First up is an obvious one. Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois is already primed and ready to hit the big time. He’s trampled over a domestic rival in the form of Nathan Gorman; dominated the king of the heavyweight gatekeepers, Kevin Johnson; and if not for the lockdown Dubois would’ve already tested his mettle against former Olympian standout, Joe Joyce. This all-English affair is still in the schedule thankfully and Dubois will really need a career best performance to get past the ‘Juggernaut’ but his boxing prowess shown against Gorman proved Dubois was more than just a puncher.
Speaking of Olympians…. There is a degree of controversy surrounding 2016 Olympic gold medallist, Tony Yoka. The Frenchman exited the 2016 Rio Olympics as a Gold medallist with THE look, much like Anthony Joshua after his gold medal triumph in 2012. Yoka, currently 7-0 (6KOs) dominated his seven professional opponents so far, that include a debut KO of previously unbeaten, Travis Clark, a 10th round TKO of David Allen, and, in mid-2019, a third-round stoppage of seasoned pro, Alexander Dimitrenko. Tony quite clearly has the prowess to make a name for himself in the heavyweight division and 28-years-old is young for the division. But the missed drug tests and subsequent ban will hang over the Frenchman for quite a while.
If I mentioned ‘Big Baby’ and heavyweight in the same sentence, who do you think I’d be talking about? Well Jared Anderson has taken over the ‘Big Baby’ mantel whilst Jarrell Miller tries his best to earn his way back into the promoter’s good book.
Jared was recently hailed by Bob Arum, as the ‘unsung hero’ of Tyson Fury’s stoppage victory over Wilder earlier this year.
The 2017 National Golden Gloves champion has continued his run of form into the professional rank with four straight stoppages, certainly not against the strongest competition, but Jared is so far keeping up with his reputation.
Arguably the best Nigeria has to offer, Efe Ajagba has stepped on to the scene with very little notoriety. The 26-year-old has been fighting in the US ever since he’s was picked up as professional in 2017. Many might’ve heard his name for the first time when Curtis Harper stepped out of the ring on the first bell over a pay dispute but Efe has the qualities that most boxing fans are searching for in a fighter. The search-and-destroy attitude is what most fans want to see from their heavyweights, that’s what Ajagba brings. Now at 13-0 (11KOs) and in the age of fans looking for the biggest fights as soon as possible, Efe could find himself in line with a Fury or Joshua sooner than he anticipated.