5 Things We Learned from Day of Reckoning

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One of the biggest boxing cards in recent memory has come and gone and has left plenty of talking points for fans to digest over the coming days, weeks, and months. Let’s review five of the biggest to come out of Day of Reckoning.

What Fight Fans Learned from Day of Reckoning

Number 5 –  Filip Hrgovich Needs Some Higher Quality Opposition

Despite being the mandatory challenger for the IBF Heavyweight championship, currently held by Ukrainian Oleksander Usyk, Filip Hrgovich matched himself against Mark De Mor on the undercard of Day of Reckoning. Despite De Mor possessing a respectable record of 41-3-2, he has not been involved in high-level boxing since 2016, when David Haye knocked him out. He has also come forward in interviews leading up to this fight saying that if he managed to knock out Hrgovich he did not think he was skillful enough to take on either Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk. This was not a super high-level opponent that Hrgovich should have faced when he progressed in the rankings as he has, and this should be in the performance. De Mor looked like he did not belong in the same ring as the Croatian, and the fight was over before the end of the first round. It is time for the Croatian to step up to the world level, and his next opponent should likely reflect that, preferably ranking inside the top-10 heavyweights.

Number 4 – Daniel Dubois DOES have Heart

Miller. Dubois had a point to prove after generating much criticism from fans and pundits alike for apparently “quitting” in his world championship fight against Oleksandr Usyk. If he could not get past “Big Baby,” he would unlikely find himself in a title picture anytime soon. He gave up a 100 lb weight advantage to Miller, and at the beginning of the fight, it looked like his punches would have little to no effect on the American. Dubois, moving around more than he ever had before, appeared to be expending significant amounts of energy, and he had the DAZN commentary team worried about his fitness after the opening few rounds. Yet Dubois kept his composure and worked his way into the fight, comprehensively winning rounds by the end; then, in the final round, he dug deep and became the first man ever to finish Jarrell Miller, winning via a TKO with eight seconds left. This kind of response was precisely what Dubois needed after the disappointment of the Usyk fight and showed that he was not going anywhere anytime soon.

Number 3 – Dmitry Bivol Shows No Sign of Ring Rust

Dmitry Bivol made his first appearance in the squared circle in over a year with a decision victory over Lyndon Arthur. While Arthur made a spirited attempt, the fight was utter domination from start to finish for Bivol, who barely looked to get out of second gear. Heading into the contest, much had been made of the extended break that Bivol had taken from the sport, with his last fight coming back in November of 2022, and some speculated that he might suffer from ring rust. This was anything but the case, and if anything, Bivol looked more destructive than he had in some years, walking down his opponent and looking for a knockout. Reminiscent of the style he used early on in his career. With Arthur dispatched and the IBO Light Heavyweight title secured, Bivol will set his eyes on unifying the belts at 175 lbs. It will most likely be against Artur Beterbiev, who defends his three world championships against Callum Smith in January of 2024.

Number 2 – Deontay Wilder is Past His Prime

While Bivol appeared to show no effects of ring rust in his performance, the same can not be said of heavyweight knockout king Deontay Wilder. In his bout with Joseph Parker, much was made in the difference in activity levels between the two men. Wilder had boxed one round inside two years and, at 38, is no longer a spring chicken. On the flip side, tonight was Joseph Parker’s fourth fight in 2023 alone, and since losing to Joe Joyce in September 2022 had won three on the bounce. Wilder’s time out of the ring was readily apparent, and he looked way off the pace. Slow to engage and unable to time his trademark right hand effectively, he had no answer to the movement of Parker, which enabled him to avoid Wilder’s primary weapon and utilize some significant offensive striking of his own. Hinting at a possible retirement in his interview after the bout, it appears that Deontay Wilder may already have one foot out the door, and we have likely seen the end of him at championship level in the heavyweight division.

Number 1 – Anthony Joshua is the Best of the Rest

While it is unlikely that AJ will be fighting for a world title anytime soon due to his consecutive defeats to Usyk, his performance against Otto Wallin would certainly be deserving of such under different circumstances. From the opening bell, he imposed his will and looked like the version of Joshua earlier in his career, focused and almost guaranteed to get the knockout. Ultimately, the fight would be stopped after the 5th round with Wallin’s nose being broken and the Swedish fighter being badly rocked by a vicious combination from Joshua during the 5th. With Wallin talking a big game before the fight about how Joshua was on the decline and no longer in his prime, it is safe to say that is not the case, and Anthony Joshua is still a significant threat to most players in the H\heavyweight division. Just not Oleksandr Usyk. Unless Fury beats Usyk to win the belts, it is hard to imagine a future where Joshua gets another crack at the Ukrainian after the emphatic nature of his two losses. For the foreseeable future, he will have to aim to prove that he is second best in the Heavyweight division and, of course, potentially get a shot against Tyson Fury should the Gypsy King be victorious next February.

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