A United Kingdom: Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury
By: Kirk Jackson
It wasn’t too long ago, unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (23-1, 21 KO’s) and newly crowned WBC heavyweight champion “The Gypsy King” Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO’s) discussed the possibility of teaming up to take down the likes of former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO’s).
Joshua’s reasoning for rooting and wanting to collaborate with the fellow Brit, “I think Tyson Fury would fight me quicker than Wilder would. If that’s the case, I want Fury to win, because I just want to fight,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“To have that fight here on British soil? Man, can you imagine that? Fury, if you need me for sparring, we’re going to fight one day. I’ve sparred Tyson Fury when we were kids anyway. I would go out to America and spar Tyson Fury and get him ready for this Wilder fight. Honestly, I think Fury might beat Wilder next time they’re out. That’s just my opinion.”
While Fury ultimately passed up Joshua’s offer, Fury embarked on his mission of redemption, defeating Wilder this past weekend via 7th round technical knock-out.
Fury accomplished a bit of history with his most recent win, becoming the first man to defeat two champions who had 10 or more defenses of their world championship – Klitschko with 18 title defenses, and Wilder with 10 title defenses.
With Joshua as the unified WBO, WBA and IBF champion and Fury as the WBC, Lineal and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion, this sets the stage for a huge confrontation. This sets the stage for a United Kingdom showdown – the first time ever in history.
In spite of this historic possibility, there are some in the Fury camp, doubtful of this dream match ever coming into fruition.
The father of the newly crowned WBC heavyweight champion John Fury, believes his son would embarrass Joshua and stop him. “They’re levels apart. You know like the aliens are like years in front of us in terms of brain power,” John Fury told IFL TV.
“That’s how my son is in front of Joshua in terms of ability. He can’t do it, he’s got slow feet, he has got some fast hands, he goes one-two, left hook, chin stuck in the air.”
“You’ve seen him, he’s blowing out of his arse the moment he has any pressure put on him. Tyson will do more than put pressure on him. He’ll be crying after four rounds. I don’t think you’ll see it, because he’s too frightened, he’ll retire before he faces Tyson. The Gypsy King will retire him before he even fights him. He hasn’t got anything to beat him with. He don’t need money. He’s a trillionaire, he don’t need it. So why would you muck your legacy by letting a big gypo spark you right out? End of.”
Fury promoter Frank Warren is not exactly buying Hearn’s recent statements of the unification between both sides – pointing out that Joshua has two mandatory defenses against to fight two different fighters.
Those obligations include an IBF mandatory defense against Bulgarian boxer Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev (28-1, 14 KO’s) and a WBO mandated defense against former undisputed cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KO’s).
“He says a lot of things, doesn’t he? He says whatever suits him on the occasion,” Warren told TalkSport. “When we tried to make the fight before, it was a problem. He knows (Hearn) full well what his contractual obligations are. He knows his fighter (Joshua) has got a mandatory defense against Pulev and one against Usyk. So to get that fight on, a lot of people have got to be paid and looked after to step aside. Tyson has no problem fighting him, we’ve called the fight enough times. We’ve never changed our mantra. We’ll talk with Anthony Joshua’s management, we’ll talk to Freddie Cunningham and see what we can do. He would be the underdog and it doesn’t matter what he’s got to say, Eddie Hearn, it doesn’t mean a row of beans what he’s got to say at the moment. All those issues I’ve just mentioned have to be dealt with.”
The question of whether Fury retires, participates in the World Wrestling Entertainment, or faces Wilder in a third bout also remains as a possibility. Wilder for his part wants the trilogy.
“My guess is knowing him like I do that he will absolutely want to rematch,” said Jay Deas, Wilder’s head trainer and co-manager, said during the post-fight press conference.
“And, I mean, these guys have put on two tremendous fights already. So, I certainly think that the public will want it. And I think we’ll want it. And I think Fury’s team will want it. And so, it seems a natural. So, I think that’s what you’ll see happen.”
Time will dictate what the public demand is for the third fight. Something to consider is Wilder may be better suited to take a few tune-ups before taking on the “Gypsy King” for a third time. Fury fought two tune-ups after their first encounter and that plan turned out well for Fury.
However the puzzle pieces fit together progressing forward across the heavyweight division, one thing is certain. The heavyweight crown runs the United Kingdom.