These are the 10 fighters that I think can make waves in the next few years in the heavyweight division. There probably isn’t a undisputed heavyweight champion among them but some good fights could come out of this.
The only qualifications to make this list were no former title challengers and they all have to be somewhat active.
10. David Price (7-0 5 KO)- Price is the least accomplished of all the fighters and that is why he finds himself in the 10 spot. Honestly I believe that he has a brighter future then his English counterpart Tyson Fury. He is massive at 6’8” and is a decorated amateur.
He captured a gold medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and a bronze in the 2008 Olympic games. At 7-0 (5 KO) he is new to the pro game but appears to have all the tools. If he wants to be truly elite he will need to improve his defense.
9. Manuel Charr (14-0 7 KO)- Charr is a fringe guy at this point but I like what he brings to the table. He is one of the smaller men on this list as he is just 6’3 ½” which isn’t small but compared to some of these men it is.
He has two good wins and keeps up a decent work rate. He also has decent hand speed and his power seems average.
8. Francesco Pianeta (20-0 12 KO)- Pianeta was originally my number four but after digging a little deeper he moved back to eight.. He just lacks the it factor. He may have missed the cut altogether if he wasn’t a tall southpaw with some good wins.
He has beaten Michael Marrone, Scott Grammar, and Matt Skelton. He also has a draw with title challenger Albert Sosnowski. Before that fight he said he was going to try and steal rounds. That’s not champion talk.
7. Oleg Platov (29-1 1 no contest 23 KO)- As far as fights in the pros goes Platov has more then anyone on this list. He is also the only fighter on this list to have a loss on his resume.
He has some decent wins and avenged his only loss with a knockout. His power seems to be legitimate but he has yet to knockout a top fighter so it remains to be seen if his power is for real or not.
His next fight will be against fellow prospect Pulev.
6. Tyson Fury (12-0 9 KO)- Fury is probably the best known name on this list but he is still very raw around the edges. He finally got onto American television and pounded tough guy Rich Power all over the ring.
He has the size at 6’7” to compete in today’s heavyweight division and has the power to go with it. He needs to learn how to use his size better but he style now makes for exciting fights.
He has more potential then skill at the moment but looks like the real deal if he can get his stamina figured out.
5. Kubrat Pulev (8-0 5 KO)- Pulev is only eight fights into his pro career but he is moving very fast. He already has wins over trail horses Zack Page and knocked out the very durable Danny Batchelder in two rounds.
He also has a knockout win over Matt Skeleton. He is being moved fast and seems to have the goods. He has five knockouts in his eight wins and has good size at 6’4 ½”. If he keeps moving at this pace he could be at the world level sooner rather then later.
4. Alexander Ustinov (21-0 16 KO)- Ustinov is yet another massive man at 6’7 ½” and has a lot of decent wins under his belt.
He has beaten the likes of Byron Polley, Michael Sprott, Monte Barrett, Ed Mahone, and Paolo Vidoz. Not the best names but good stepping stones nonetheless.
His power has yet to manifest itself at the top level but it seems he has some pop.
3. Denis Boytsov (27-0 22 KO)- Boytsov is probably the closest fighter to world class on this list. He has been moved along slowly and is on the small side but has serious potential.
He is as good of an inside fighter as you’ll find in the division and has good power in both hands. He is also an excellent finisher when he hurts you.
He has to work on his workrate as he will do just enough to win rounds and stamina but there is no reason to believe he cant be a top heavyweight.
2. Robert Helenius (13-0 8 KO)- I am very high on Helenius as he has the frame at 6’6 ½” and the skills to get the job done. He wont blow you away but he is surely a prospect.
He has already beaten a former titlist in Lamon Brewster and knocked him out in doing so. This wasn’t the Brewster that knocked out Wladimir Klitschko but he was still a good fighter.
He also has knockout wins over Scott Gammer and Taras Bydenko. His hand speed leaves a lot to be desired but he punches with purpose and can hurt almost anyone.
1. Derek Chisora (14-0 9 KO)- I am extremely high on Chisora and it might the simple fact that he is a aggressive heavyweight. He comes at you and isn’t afraid to mix it up.
He isn’t the tallest heavyweight at 6’1 ½” and that may very well be his undoing. He will always need to find a way to get on the inside of bigger men and if he cant he is at a big disadvantage.
He has good power and showed it against Sam Sexton and Danny Williams. He has decent hand speed and has a ton of heart. Rumor is he may fight Wladimir Klitschko next.
At this stage he wouldn’t win that fight but it would be an interesting measuring stick to see where he is.