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Heavyweight boxing in 2021 has a clear top two and a potential mega fight between a pair of crossover stars that the world wants to see. Unfortunately while David Haye vs Joe Fournier has been signed, a certain A Joshua vs T Fury hasn't been - and both men have upcoming bouts against top-10 contenders that could slip them up.
There's a few huge punchers here, even by the standards of boxing's big men, plus a couple of highly skilful ex-cruiserweights. That includes Oleksandr Usyk who's got the best pound-for-pound skills on this list but he's so unproven above 200lb that ranking him is a real challenge.
Only one heavyweight under the age of 30 takes a spot here - and he's hardly a fresh-faced newcomer. It's also Brit-stacked as never before with four UK heavies inside the top 10. But we start with an American coming off a highlight-reel knockout...
'The Bounty' Hunter is unbeaten at heavyweight and surely deserved the decision in his 2019 draw against Alexander Povetkin. His sole loss, a competitive one to Usyk at cruiserweight, point to the concerns: at 6ft 2in, Hunter is small for a modern heavyweight and is still viewed as the "other" cruiserweight above 200lb behind the Ukrainian master boxer. Still, boasts speed and delivered a savage KO of Mike Wilson last time out.
Hard to know what the (officially) 42-year-old 'King Kong' Ortiz actually has left in the tank. At his best, one of the finest - and most avoided - heavyweights in the world, albeit one with a patchy record of failing drug tests. Pushed Deontay Wilder close despite losing both fights by stoppage, the ageing southpaw remains a danger with his in-ring expertise and genuine power.
The 'Big Juggernaut' lives up to his nickname. He can look slow, hittable and it's sometimes hard to see anything special in his abilities. But Joyce is relentless, seems to own an iron jaw and just keeps on coming behind a strong jab. Most thought he'd crack under the power of young puncher Daniel Dubois, but he soaked up some big shots and showed his amateur class to win. Not to be underestimated.
A tricky fighter to place - and not just because of his sublime skills. An all-time great cruiserweight, unbeaten Usyk is among boxing's pound-for-pound elite. The major problem is his only two heavyweight fights have been - at best - inconclusive. Critics might even suggest they show this beautifully balanced boxer is simply too small to compete with the true big men above 200lb. His September showdown with Anthony Joshua should reveal all.
The youngest fighter in the top 10, Parker boasts a solid CV with wins over Andy Ruiz Jr (narrowly), Derek Chisora and Carlos Takam, while his two defeats - to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte - were both reasonably competitive on points. But the eye test tells you that Parker seems to be going backwards. Still quick and durable but his offence has lost its dynamism. Needs to find a rapid return to form under new trainer Andy Lee.
Let's face it: it's only his win over Joshua, hauling himself up from the canvas to wreck the big Brit's unbeaten record that keeps Mexican-American Ruiz in the top five. He came into the AJ rematch in terrible shape and, worryingly, didn't look great last time out against Chris Arreola despite clearly putting the pre-fight work in. Boasts remarkably quick hands and an excellent chin but has to show he's more than just a one-fight wonder.
Was clear in fourth behind 'the big three' until that one-punch KO defeat to Povetkin last August reminded people of Whyte's occasional technical flaws. Stopped a vacant-looking Povetkin in the rematch, however, and 'The Body Snatcher' remains a tough, dangerous-punching heavyweight with impressive wins over the likes of Parker, Oscar Rivas and Chisora.
Simply one of the most fearsome punchers of all time (made even more remarkable by the fact that, despite standing 6ft 7in, Wilder is actually lean and light by modern heavyweight standards). The Bronze Bomber's skills are sometimes derided and he looked clueless when getting bullied around the ring by Tyson Fury last year, but that cannot cancel out his 43-fight unbeaten run before that, nor that awesome, elastic power.
A chiselled adonis with power, dedication and good fundamentals. But it hasn't been easy since a thrilling 2017 win over Wladimir Klitschko made him a superstar. A shock KO loss to Andy Ruiz was the lowest point, but AJ showed grit and a ramrod jab to dominate Ruiz in the rematch, then stop Kubrat Pulev next. Has more wins over top-10 heavies than anyone else on this list and deserves respect for not ducking the tricky Usyk next.
Frustrating inactivity and a failure to get the Joshua fight signed cannot cloud the fact that 'The Gypsy King' retains his crown as the division's No 1. Slick, awkward with a high ring IQ and uniquely fleet-footed for a 19-stone giant, at his best he's a nightmare for any opponent. Showed his versatility when he went on the front foot to demolish Wilder in a career-best performance last year and faces the same foe in a trilogy fight in October. Hopefully.
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