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Fury’s win and Joshua’s loss change picture among leading heavyweights

Fury is the man to beat after his win over Tom Schwarz, with a Deontay Wilder rematch on the horizon.

Tyson Fury has earned a reputation as the top heavyweight in the world (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Tyson Fury has earned a reputation as the top heavyweight in the world (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Saturday’s destructive victory over the previously-undefeated Tom Schwarz again demonstrated that Tyson Fury is the world’s finest heavyweight.

Here, Press Association Sport ranks the top five.

1. Tyson Fury

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Tyson Fury introduced himself to America in style (John Locher/AP)

If the 30-year-old was not already considered the very best when he returned from essentially three years’ inactivity to outbox the dangerous Deontay Wilder in December’s thrilling draw, when his performance deserved victory, then Anthony Joshua’s defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr and the victory over Schwarz puts his status beyond doubt. At a time when the heavyweight division is again thriving, Fury is its most charismatic and talented fighter.

2. Deontay Wilder

The WBC champion, 33, is among the most powerful punchers in history, as he again demonstrated with his recent first-round stoppage of the tough Dominic Breazeale, but was fortunate to be awarded a draw when he defended his title against Fury. Before Joshua lost, Wilder would have been considered third.

3. Andy Ruiz Jr

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Andy Ruiz Jr celebrates with his title belts after beating Anthony Joshua (Nick Potts/PA)

The Mexican, 29, produced one of the greatest upsets in heavyweight history earlier this month when he recovered from a third-round knockdown to unexpectedly stop the previously-undefeated and highly-rated Joshua in seven. Ruiz Jr even accepted the fight at late notice; they are expected to have a rematch later this year.

4. Anthony Joshua

The decorated Olympic gold medallist should be in his prime but showed signs of regression throughout a poor performance as he suffered his first defeat against Ruiz Jr on his US debut. If he really is as good as he previously suggested and many continue to believe, he will convincingly avenge that defeat in an immediate rematch, and then pursue fights with Wilder and Fury.

5. Oleksandr Usyk

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Oleksandr Usyk celebrates after beating Tony Bellew (Nick Potts/PA)

Ukraine’s outstanding Usyk, 32, furthered his status as one of the greatest cruiserweights in history in his past fight, when he explosively stopped Tony Bellew to unify the IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC titles. He is yet to make his heavyweight debut but will do so later this year, and possesses such natural boxing abilities and athleticism that he already appears capable of immediately threatening the division’s three biggest names.

PA

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