Anthony Joshua hit new heights during an eventful year in the heavyweight division
By Richard Damerell and Matt Horan
Last Updated: 17/01/18 1:27pm
From Wembley to Cardiff, from retirements to tense rivalries, 2017 has been a blockbuster year in the heavyweight division.
Anthony Joshua's career hit new heights as he conquered Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium, while Tony Bellew burst onto the scene in the top division, and Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker retained their world crowns.
Joshua flew out to New York for a press conference with Klitschko as the respectful duo faced off at both Madison Square Garden and Times Square, and the playful Ukrainian lightened the mood as he photobombed 'AJ'.
Back in Britain, Haye and Bellew were resuming their heated war of words, prompting the British Boxing Board of Control to issue a warning ahead of their appearance on 'The Gloves Are Off.'
Dillian Whyte vacated his British heavyweight title to pursue a world title shot at WBC champion Wilder.
Wilder retained his WBC belt with a fifth round stoppage win over Gerald Washington, while former Joshua opponent Dominic Breazeale climbed off the canvas to stop Izuagbe Ugonoh on the undercard.
David Price endured a nightmare night as he floored Christian Hammer, but the towering Liverpudlian wilted to a seventh round stoppage loss.
Haye and Bellew's hostilities resumed on a press tour and the Londoner lost his usual cool while squabbling with his bitter rival's fans in Liverpool.
Bellew would have the final word in the heated feud, pounding out an upset stoppage win over Haye, who suffered a serious Achilles injury in the sixth round.
Haye would undergo surgery in the days afterwards and voiced his desire for a rematch with Bellew before the end of the year.
I want to leave the ring as the champion and the winner of this fight - that's my obsession.
In Kiev, Klitschko admits he has rediscovered his "obsession" with boxing as he prepares for Joshua back at his teenage gym.
Wladimir cranks up the mind games with Joshua, revealing that he already has predicted the outcome of their fight on a USB stick which will be auctioned for charity.
But Joshua takes fate into his own fists, overcoming the first knockdown of his career in the sixth round as he battled back to dramatically stop Klitschko in front of a record 90,000 fans at Wembley.
Kubrat Pulev warmed up for an IBF mandatory title shot at Joshua by outpointing Kevin Johnson, but there was frustration for WBO champion Parker when Hughie Fury pulled out of their scheduled fight.
Tyson Fury is stirred into action by Joshua's Wembley triumph, declaring that a future fight with his British rival would create massive public demand.
There's only one fight out there, the biggest fight in the world and everyone knows that. It is the heavyweights, it is me and AJ, no one else.
But Joshua's next move remains uncertain as he awaits a decision from Klitschko on a rematch, while Pulev's promoter Kalle Sauerland reiterates his right to face the world champion.
Over in New Zealand, WBO champion Parker failed to impress as he laboured to a points win over late replacement Razvan Cojanu.
Haye splits from trainer Shane McGuigan as he works towards another fight with Bellew, who voices interest in challenging Parker if the rematch is not confirmed.
Joshua-Klitschko II is approved by the IBF, provided that Pulev receives an immediate shot at the winner, and Las Vegas is named as the "front-runner" venue to stage the fight by promoter Eddie Hearn.
WBC champion Wilder is arrested on a marijuana drug charge, while Carlos Takam and the returning Lucas Browne claim wins.
Fury hints at retirement, announcing 'THE END' on social media, and his hopes of a 2017 comeback remain on hold as he awaits the resumption of a UK Anti-Doping hearing.
Why's he avoiding? Because he knows I'm dangerous and he knows that he'll lose the fight."
Whyte brands Wilder as 'embarrassing' after the American dismissed an offer for a title defence against 'The Body Snatcher.'
Fast-talking Brooklyn brawler Jarrell Miller backs up his boasts by stopping Washington in New York.
Plans for Joshua-Klitschko II are swiftly forgotten when the 41-year-old Ukrainian shocks the boxing world by announcing his retirement.
Pulev is now in pole position to challenge Joshua next, although the WBA swiftly ordered their champion to fulfil a title defence against Luis Ortiz.
Whyte marked his US debut with a third round stoppage of Malcolm Tann, cementing his lofty position in the WBC rankings.
Joshua's next world title defence is confirmed against Pulev at the Principality Stadium on October 28, with another huge crowd predicted under the closed roof of the stadium in Cardiff.
Bellew-Haye II is announced as the Merseysider receives top billing and vows to end "The Hayemaker show" by sending the 37-year-old into retirement.
Parker finally defends his WBO title against Fury in Manchester, retaining the belt via a majority points decision which is hotly disputed by the challenger and his cousin Tyson.
Preparations for Joshua's world title defence were thrown into turmoil when Pulev pulls out through injury, although Takam swiftly steps in as a replacement opponent.
Joshua would retain his titles with a stoppage victory, but he received a bloodied nose in a brutal battle with Takam, who displayed brave resistance until the intervention of referee Phil Edwards in the 10th round.
Wilder also had to contend with a change of opponents as Luis Ortiz failed a drug test, meaning that Bermane Stiverne was handed a rematch with 'The Bronze Bomber.'
The WBC champion called for a unification clash with Joshua after a first round demolition of Stiverne, triggering an instant response from the Brit's promoter Eddie Hearn, who reveals how AJ threatened to 'eat' the Alabama man.
Dereck Chisora failed to regain the European title as he suffers a points defeat to Agit Kabayel in Monte Carlo.
'Big Baby' Miller halted Marius Wach in New York, while Manuel Charr defeated Alexander Ustinov on points to claim the WBA 'regular' belt.
Haye pulls out of his rematch with Bellew after injuring his bicep in a 'freak accident' and the fight is rescheduled for May 5.
Joshua's first fight of next year could be against Parker as the champions are 'very close' to agreeing a unification clash in March, with the Principality Stadium emerging as a potential venue.
Tyson Fury is free to resume his career in 2018, subject to regaining his boxing licence, after accepting a backdated two-year ban from UK Anti-Doping, while Alexander Povetkin ended the division's year by winning a WBA eliminator against Christian Hammer.