There is nothing in sport quite like the Heavyweight division in boxing.
The division has been somewhat dormant in recent years but has been revitalized by a trio or superstars in Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
The drama and action is as packed as it ever has been.
This weekend we will see the rematch between Fury and Wilder, two fighters that are undefeated and in their prime, which is not always the case when it comes to boxing (see Mayweather vs Pacquiao).
After their first fight ended in a controversial split decision draw, we all expected an immediate rematch and although we will receive exactly that this weekend, it was not all smooth sailing.
Tyson Fury signed a contract with ESPN and Top Rank after the first fight, which meant negotiations were made far more difficult and a co-promotion was needed in order to make it happen.
This is not the first time that we have seen a major title fight delayed through any amount of problems and stalling that you can think of.
We’ve run through the Most Anticipated Heavyweight Boxing Fights Of All Time.
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2
The second fight between Wilder and Fury has been dubbed ‘Unfinished Business’ after the first fight ended in a split decision draw.
The Bronze Bomber Wilder entered the first fight having won all 40 of his professional fights with an incredible 39 coming by way of knockout and he seemingly won the fight when he landed his biggest weapon, his straight right, on the chin of Fury in the twelfth round.
The Gypsy King rose to his feet just in time and went on to out-strike Wilder for the remainder of the round.
Wilder has since gone on to beat both Dominic Breazeale as well as Luiz Ortiz by knockout since the first fight.
Fury has gone on to beat German Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin.
This sets up one of the most anticipated fights in recent times this weekend in Las Vegas!
Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis
Mike Tyson was the youngest Heavyweight champion in the history of the sport and he was untouchable for a long stretch of time.
He was devastating inside the ring and more than controversial out of it.
The two Heavyweight’s careers ran parallel to each other’s and it seemed inevitable that at some stage the two would meet each other inside the ring however many circumstances prevented the two from squaring off.
Originally set for April 22 in 2002, the fight was postponed until June after a brawl between Lewis and Tyson broke out at a press conference.
Lewis would win the fight via KO in the eighth round and many would argue the fight simply happened too late in both men’s careers.
He would have just three more fights in his career, losing two of them.
The fight would break the record for the highest-grossing event in pay-per-view history generating US $106.9 million and 1.95 million buys in the USA until it was surpassed by Mayweather vs De La Hoya in 2007.
Celebrities in attendance included Samuel L Jackson, Britney Spears, high Hefner, The Undertaker, LL Cool J, Donald Trump, Michale Jordan and Alex Baldwin amongst plenty of others.
Joe Frazier vs Muhammad Ali
Ali was the undisputed Heavyweight champion of the world having won the title from Sonny Liston in 1964 and successfully defended it up until his belt was stripped from him after he refused induction into the Armed Forces in 1967.
In his absence, Joe Frazier gathered two Heavyweight championship belts and thus began the debate of who was the real Heavyweight champion of the world.
The two undefeated fighters met at a sold out Madison Square Garden for the ‘Fight Of The Century’ in New York and the anticipation for the bout was unrivaled with the exiled king returning to claim his rightful throne.
The cultural significance of the fight can not be ignored either, with the fight seemingly dividing the nation into those that supported the war in Vietnam and those that thought of it as a pointless loss of lives.
Smokin’ Joe won the fight via a unanimous decision which set up the greatest trilogy in boxing history. Ali went on to win the second fight between the two as well as their third; the ‘Thrilla in Manila’.
Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling
Joe Louis’s rise in the Heavyweight division paralleled the rise of Nazi Germany, so his second fight with Max Schmelling held more significance than just a boxing fight in 1938.
Schmelling had knocked out Louis in 1936 before Joe had won the Heavyweight title and the rematch was, at the time, the biggest fight in the division’s history.
Louis, a black sharecropper’s son from Alabama, was America’s hope against the German and the fight took place at Yankee Stadium with Louis winning the fight in brutal fashion in just over two minutes.
Mike Tyson vs Peter McNeeley
Mike Tyson was on top of the world after being crowned the youngest Heavyweight champion in 1986 at just 20 years of age.
In one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history, he lost his title to Buster Douglas in 1990. He was scheduled to fight the undisputed Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in 1991 before he was sentenced to prison for rape.
After serving three years in jail, he returned to the ring against Peter McNeeley who had a record of 36-1 at the time. The fight was met with huge anticipation with the boxing public eager to see the return of the former champ.
Although the fight only lasted 89 seconds, the fight was a big financial success grossing $96 million worldwide. McNeeley would go on to have a colourful career, which included a first round loss to Butterbean.
Tyson would reclaim his Heavyweight title.
Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.
Ali headed into the fight against the undefeated Heavyweight champion of the world Foreman as the 4-1 underdog in front of a crowd of 60,000 people in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo).
The fight was the most-watched live television broadcast at the time being watched by an estimated 1 billion viewers worldwide. The fight grossed an estimated $100 million (inflation adjusted to $520 million) in revenue.
Ali used Foreman’s greatest strength against him, introducing his famous rope-a-dope tactic to outlast the heavy-hitting Foreman to win the fight via KO in the eighth round.
Ali was at his very best when promoting the fight.