Heavyweight Boxing Schedule 2018Written by Leroy Cleveland
Heavyweight boxing heats up in the first half of 2018.
We've already seen Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz and, sans Tyson Fury and Kubrat Pulev, we'll see the rest of the division's biggest powerbrokers grace the first half of the 2018 Heavyweight Boxing Schedule: Anthony Joshua, Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte, Lucas Browne, Alexander Povetkin, Jarrell Miller and David Haye.
Joshua vs Parker
As expected, Joshua is a huge favorite across the board. In addition to being more dominant as a pro, he boasts a deeper amateur pedigree and is bigger, stronger and more technically proficient. However, ever since Joshua's successful title defense against Carlos Takem, Parker has been chompin' at the bit to fight Joshua.
So why is the Kiwi so hellbent of fighting Joshua in AJ’s native England when he could keep his title for another 6 to 8 months and face another marginal opponent instead? The odds are clearly stacked against the New Zealander.
Perhaps he sees a chink in Joshua's armor?
Louis vs Schmeling I anyone?
Other fights and match-ups
Fans will also get the opportunity to see if David Price, the hottest young heavyweight in 2011, can revive his career overnight; And if battle-tested Dereck Chisora can get a much-needed win on his road back to heavyweight relevance.
And speaking of heavyweight relevance, 41 year old former cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek returns. Adamek is like a modern-day Oliver McCall. Like the fictional Jason Voorhees, he just won't go away.He gets punched and punched and loses on occasion yet always seems to come back to life just when you think he's done for good.
And let's not forget emerging powerbrokers such as Hughie Fury Otto Wallin, Agit Kabayel and Adrian Granat who are also fighting. Fury, of course, gave Parker all the latter could handle last year, losing a razor thin majority decision.
As for Haye vs Bellew 2, was the first fight a fluke? Was Haye compromised when entering the bout? It's rare to have a fighter get stopped inside the distance and still be tagged the heavy favorite in the immediate rematch. Obviously, bettors believe Haye's injury was a bigger factor in his losing even though Bellew was holding his own prior to the tear or rupture.
Undefeated former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury won't grace the first half of the 2018 hevayweight boxing schedule, so let's hope we see him later this year. Perhaps against another former champion, Shannon Briggs.
2018 HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING SCHEDULE
For a more in-depth schedule that includes all boxing divisions, visit the ESPN Boxing Schedule
Updated April 5; 8:40am EST
Colby Madison vs. Guillermo Del Rio
Tony Yoka vs. Cyril Leonet
Tomasz Adamek vs. Joey Abell
At 41, Adamek is 52-5 although it seems like he's lost more. Should the Pol win his 3rd straight, look for him to fight once or twice more this year.
Otto Wallin vs. Adrian Granat
Main Event: Agit Kabayel vs. Miljan Rovcanin
12 rounds, for Kabayel's European heavyweight title
Tom Schwarz vs. Senad Gashi
George Arias vs. Tyrell Wright
Marcus Carter vs. Antwaun Taylor
Bryant Jennings vs. Joey Dawejko
10 rounds, heavyweights
New York (HBO)
(Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki undercard)
Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller vs. Johann Duhaupas
12 rounds, WBA heavyweight eliminator
The winner of this fight will catapult himself to the division's "best of the rest." His stock won't be as high as Wilder, Joshua or Parker's, but he'll be in the same conversation with Kubrat Pulev, Luis Ortiz and the winner of Whyte vs Browne.
Brendan Barrett vs. Tracey Johnson
Manuel Charr vs Fres Oquendo
12 rounds, for Charr's WBA 'Regular' heavyweight title
Main Event: Tony Bellew vs. David Haye, rematch
Who cares he's in his late 30s ? An impressive Haye win puts him in the back in the conversation with the division's "best of the rest," including Ortiz and Pulev. Maybe we'll see Fury vs Haye after all!?! Given his fighting style, previous accomplishments and marketability, another superfight for Haye may be on the horizon... If he wins impressively.
Joe Joyce vs. TBA
Sam Sexton vs. Hughie Fury
12 rounds, for Sexton's British heavyweight title
Marco Huck vs TBA
Daniel Dubois vs. TBA
Anthony Joshua UD 12 Joseph Parker
Alexander Povetkin KO 5 David Price
Darmani Rock KO 2 Ronny Hale
Dillian Whyte KO 6 Lucas Browne
Dereck Chisora TKO Zakaria Azzouzi
Ali Eren Demirezen TKO Rad Rashid
Ivan Dychko KO 1 Stephan Kirnon