A wide-open scramble among heavyweights is underway, illustrated by a pair of world title fights in boxing's glamour division in an historic night for the sport in Brooklyn on 16 January. American Deontay Wilder (35-0 with 34 knockouts) puts his WBC title on the line against Artur Szpilka (20-1, 15 knockouts) of Poland in a glittering Barclays Center fight card.
On 15 January, the two weighed in at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Wilder weighed in at 228.75lb while Szpilka came in at 233.25lb. The fight card marks the first heavyweight championship bouts staged in Brooklyn since 1900 when James Jeffries knocked out James Corbett in the 23rd round.
Wladimir Klitschko ruled the heavyweights for nearly 10 years but last November was shoved off his perch by Briton Tyson Fury, who scored a unanimous decision in Duesseldorf. Fury collected the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, but relinquished the IBF title by booking a rematch with Klitschko instead of fighting a mandatory IBF title bout.
That has reopened jousting for the prized honour of being undisputed heavyweight champion, last achieved by Lennox Lewis in 1999. Szpilka is trying to become Poland's first world heavyweight champion.