Despite Tyson Fury Rumors, Anthony Joshua Is Fully Focused On Kubrat Pulev: “I’ll Go In There And Do A Number On Him”
By: Hans Themistode
For the past several months, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBC/Lineal belt holder Tyson Fury have teased a future matchup between them. Not too long ago, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that both sides came to an agreement for two showdowns in 2021.
But while most of the world continues to ponder who would win between the pair, the former Olympic gold medalist isn’t fixated on the mega showdown.
“I have to really focus on Kubrat Pulev,” said Joshua to Sky Sports Boxing during a recent interview. “I know the names that people really want to see, but this is a mandatory challenge. I have to defend my titles against this guy. I’m going to really focus on my training to get the win because that’s what sets up the bigger fights in the future.”
Pulev of course, could care less about Joshua’s interest in facing Fury or any of the top names in the heavyweight division. With only one loss on his record which came six years ago in his first title challenge against Wladimir Klitschko, the Bulgarian native has reeled off eight straight wins which in turn has him positioned number one for Joshua’s IBF title.
A matchup with Pulev on December 12th, may not bring the sort of attention that a contest with Fury would, but regardless of that, Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) isn’t taking him lightly.
“He’s a good fighter and I have to take him seriously. If I do that, then I’m confident that I’ll go in there and do a number on him.”
By the time Joshua walks through those ropes to face his mandatory challenger, it will mark roughly one year since his last contest. That of course, came on December 7th, when the British product traveled halfway across the world to Saudi Arabia to win back the heavyweight titles he lost six months prior against Andy Ruiz.
Things played out exactly the way he wanted as he outboxed his man and cruised to a unanimous decision victory. Since then however, Joshua has spent his time on the sidelines due to a combination of injuries and the current worldwide pandemic. Although he was looking forward to entering the ring at a much earlier date, the time away was exactly what he believes he needed.
“It’s not a bad thing. The body needs it. We’re going nonstop pushing myself. I’m trying to promote boxing, trying to be a better boxer and a family man. The world is going just so fast. So to have my own selfish time to breathe for a second it’s important for the mind. I’m ready now and anyone who wants smoke out there, I’m well prepared for.”
Tyson Fury Ranks The Heavyweight Division
By: Hans Themistode
Long before Tyson Fury became the top dog in the heavyweight division, he always considered himself the best of the best. His Lineal and WBC titles only strengthen his argument.
With a dozen years in the pro’s, Fury knows exactly what a top heavyweight looks like. So he always finds it surprising when anyone considers Anthony Joshua even remotely close to that.
“Anthony Joshua is a third tier heavyweight,” said Fury to TalkSports. “There’s levels to this game and I am top tier.”
Any list that doesn’t involve Fury at the top of it, is a bad one as far the British native is concerned. With that being said, he does generally rank as the best that the heavyweight division has to offer. But trailing close behind him is usually Joshua. Yet, when asked to put together his own list, Joshua found himself behind several notable names. Even one who is barely considered a heavyweight.
“There’s me and [Deontay] Wilder who can beat them all – easily – but I do put Oleksandr Usyk in there because he’s a fleet footed southpaw. All these heavyweights can beat each other, as we’ve seen.”
Usyk, 33, was the man to beat one weight class lower in the Cruiserweight division, having won every major title. But in the land of the big men, he’s been both inactive and untested. Come October 31st however, the latter will seemingly change once he takes on perpetual contender Dereck Chisora.
A win over his man will solidify Usyk’s spot as the mandatory contender for Joshua’s WBO title.
There’s been a bit of doubt as to whether or not that matchup will actually take place. Over the past several month’s Fury has called out Joshua at every turn. Even offering to face his British counterpart with one hand tied behind his back.
In short, it doesn’t matter if they met in the ring or the parking lot, there’s nothing Joshua can do to pick up a win against him.
“I beat two champions with more than 10 defenses and I could beat Joshua. I can beat him every way and there’s only one way to prove I can’t – come and show me I can’t.”
Those aforementioned fighters Fury mentions are none other than Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder. Before Fury can give his full undivided attention to Joshua, he’ll have to get pass Wilder again. But with a seventh round stoppage win under his belt when they met earlier this year, Fury didn’t sound concerned about taking down the hard hitting Wilder for a second time in a row.
“Wilder is a dynamite puncher, but he couldn’t live with the Gypsy King.”
Eddie Hearn Optimistic On Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury Showdown: “I Think We Are On The Verge Of Papering That Deal With Bob Arum”
By: Hans Themistode
Most of the boxing world has been fixated on how a Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua showdown would play out. Most of that is due to the fact that both men have come out and expressed their interest in making their fight a reality.
But while fans and observers are split down the middle on who would actually win, promoter Eddie Hearn cringes whenever he hears a contest between the two discussed. It may be a great fight on paper, but there are way too many roadblocks in the way to have any serious discussions just yet.
“I’ve been talking to Bob Arum about various things such as Crawford against Brook which looks close to happening as well,” said Hearn to Sky Sports. “We want to talk about it but we also want to take care of business which Kubrat Pulev for AJ and Deontay Wilder for Tyson Fury.”
As mentioned by Hearn, one bad night at the office is all it will take to derail one of the biggest fights in recent heavyweight history.
For Fury, although he’s beaten Wilder before, the former heavyweight champion is reportedly in “tremendous” shape and looks forward to decapitating the British champion this time around. Joshua on the other hand, may have a seemingly easier opponent in front of him in Kubrat Pulev, but with eight straight victories under his belt, coupled with Joshua’s most recent loss against Andy Ruiz Jr. in mid 2019, the 6 ‘6 chiseled unified champion is believed to be vulnerable.
Still, even with Wilder possessing the sort of power that could leave a fighter in a vegetative state and Pulev in the best form of his life, Hearn believes both Fury and Joshua will get through their preliminary matchups and meet twice next year.
“I’m very sure you are going to see two versions of that fight in 2021. I think we are on the verge of papering that deal with Bob Arum. We haven’t done it yet but all of the conversations have been positive. In 2021 I’m very sure we are going to see those two fights.”
The road isn’t exactly easy for either man, but it’s a clear one, at least for Fury. The current WBC and Lineal titlist simply needs to get past one more opponent in Wilder before he can attempt to unify the division. Yet for WBA/IBF and WBO titlist Anthony Joshua, his road to a mega showdown with his rival has a few more landmines.
Provided Joshua gets past Pulev, standing in between him and the matchup he wants against Fury could be WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion is set to take on heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora later on this year.
At no point has Usyk ever expressed a desire to take a backseat in order to let someone else take his world title opportunity, and nothing has changed in that regard.
“For sure, he’s not stepping aside. He wants to fight the winner of Joshua vs Pulev for the WBO world title. Usyk believes he can go out and get a good win under his belt in the heavyweight division and then move on to challenge for a world title in 2021.”
Tyson Fury To Anthony Joshua: “Come See The Champ”
By: Hans Themistode
Tyson Fury, like most during the pandemic, has spent his time keeping himself busy.
The current Lineal and WBC heavyweight titlist can be found shadowing boxing at a local park near his home, or making the rounds on daily talk shows promoting his high profile future showdowns. Over the past few days, he’s done the latter.
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) has an endless amount of options on the table. Dillian Whyte, before his jaw dropping knockout loss at the hands of Alexander Povetkin, continued to call him out. So has the likes of Dereck Chisora and Oleksandr Usyk who have their matchup coming up in the not so distant future. There is also one perpetual thorn in the side of Fury in former champion Deontay Wilder who will contractually receive the first crack at the British champion.
Unfortunately however, after sharing the ring on two separate occasions, their third and seemingly final showdown is still up in the air due to COVID-19.
Whether he is contractually bound to Wilder or not, if a date and place isn’t figured out by year’s end, then Fury would rather punch another fellow British champion in the face.
“If Wilder don’t happen then let’s do Joshua in December,” said Fury to BTSports. “Why not? I’m ready to go now. I’ll kick his ass anytime of the day.”
Fury’s idea brings smiles to the faces of fight fans, but Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev is quick to stop the current champion as he attempts to skip the line.
The IBF mandatory challenger has reeled off eight straight victories since his last title shot against Wladimir Klitschko and is in no mood to be left extraneous by Fury.
At the moment, Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) is aiming for a showdown with Pulev in December. But while the unified champion views his matchup with Pulev as a must in order to clear the path to his eventual contest with Fury, his rival views things entirely differently.
“Hopefully he’ll grow a pair and fight the Gypsy King. Grow a pair and come see the champ.”
Bob Arum Sticks It To Dillian Whyte: “Povetkin’s Uppercut, Knocked Him Cold On His Ass
By: Hans Themistode
Promoter Bob Arum apparently has no problem kicking a man while he’s down.
Top Rank’s CEO sat back in his palatial estate, kicked his feet up and watched a Saturday night filled with boxing. His promotional company had a headliner of light heavyweight contenders in Joe Smith Jr. and Eleider Alvarez. Premier Boxing Champions also had a slot which featured former welterweight champion Shawn Porter and the unheralded Sebastian Formella.
But before either of those shows came on, heavyweight contenders Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin clashed on the other side of the world in a world title eliminator.
Their contest went according to what most envisioned in the early goings. Whyte floored his man twice in the fourth and seemed to be on his way to a stopped victory. Then, out of nowhere, the dramatic theater of boxing struck as Povetkin knocked Whyte clean out in the fifth round.
There were some that felt bad for Whyte as he occupied WBC’s number one ranking for several years. Arum on the other hand, was not amongst them and piled onto the heavyweight contenders’ misery.
“Dillian Whyte was so busy fighting for his WBC mandatory position that he didn’t see Povetkin’s uppercut, which knocked him cold on his ass,” said Arum on his Twitter account.
Following a 2015 loss to current unified champion Anthony Joshua, Whyte, 32, went on a 11 fight win streak. But even with the victories piling up against former champions and current contenders, Whyte couldn’t sniff a crack at a world title.
Every chance he got, the British native called out the WBC sanctioning body for making him wait. Whether it was a rematch with Joshua or a shot against Tyson Fury, Whyte simply wanted his shot. Now, he’ll be forced to wait even longer as he has stated that he will pursue an immediate rematch with Povetkin.
Should he reverse the outcome the second time around, Whyte could have his long awaited rematch with Joshua. However, there won’t be any titles on the line. At least according to Arum.
At the moment, the long time promoter has his heavyweight in Kubrat Pulev sitting in the mandatory IBF position to face Joshua next. Their matchup is set to take place at the back end of 2020, although there has been multiple delays.
When the green light is given for Pulev and Joshua to step into the ring against one another, Arum is expecting the British empire that is Whyte and Joshua, to continue to crumble.
“Pulev will KO Joshua next,” said Arum. “London Bridges are falling.”
Andy Ruiz Jr And Chris Arreola Agree To Terms For Heavyweight Showdown
By: Hans Themistode
Andy Ruiz Jr. is ready to show that he isn’t some one hit wonder.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, the former heavyweight champion has agreed to a matchup with former title challenger Chris Arreola that will take place on the back end of 2020.
With the 39 year old Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) putting on one of his best performances in his last ring appearance against Adam Kownacki, the California native pondered retirement if he didn’t get the job done on the night. Yet, after 12 fairly competitive rounds in which Arreola had thrown a record setting 1,125 punches, he backed off his retirement claims.
Despite his previous showing though, much of the boxing world will be fixated on the comeback story of the man standing across the ring from him on the night.
Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) found himself on the table of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua as a sacrificial lamb. The two matched up in June of 2019 and not much was expected of him.
Come in, get paid, get your ass kicked and leave. And in that order. Ruiz Jr. however, didn’t read the memo.
The upset of Joshua has been well chronicled. Ruiz Jr. picked himself up off the mat in the early going, only to drop his man on four separate occasions to become the first Mexican heavyweight world champion.
Those newly found gold belts did not serve as motivation though. They were simply used as beer holders as Ruiz Jr. spent most of the following six months partying like there was no tomorrow. But while the new heavyweight champion was busy making appearances on the Jimmy Kimmel show and signing countless autographs, the old belt holder was hard at work readying himself for their rematch.
The difference in preparation showed as Ruiz Jr. was thoroughly dominated over 12 rounds.
“I think I didn’t prepare as I should’ve,” said Ruiz Jr. immediately following their rematch. “I gained too much weight. Basically I tried to train myself, but if we do the third fight best believe I’m going to be in the best shape of my life.”
The promises of the former heavyweight champion doesn’t appear to be hollow as he has decided to work with trainer of the year and head man of current four division star Canelo Alvarez.
With the world there to witness his rise to the top of the mountain and his unceremonious fall from it, Ruiz Jr. will begin his journey to prove that he isn’t some flash in the pan fighter.
Eddie Hearn: “There’s Still A Very Strong Chance That AJ Will Have To Fight Behind Closed Doors”
By: Hans Themistode
2020 has become an absolute crap shoot.
The year started off with such promise as big time matchups between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury led the way. But with COVID-19 turning the boxing world upside down, notable fighters have seen their once busy schedule dwindle down considerably.
For unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in particular, his schedule has been nonexistent.
With a win over Andy Ruiz Jr. to take back the titles that were ripped away from his broad shoulders in late 2019, Joshua was set to return in mid 2020 in a mandatory title defense against number one contender Kubrat Pulev. Assuming Joshua made it out of that contest in one piece, a date with WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk awaited him. From there, a matchup with Tyson Fury would be next on the docket.
Yet, before boxing fans can wipe the drool from the side of their mouths as they envision those future matchups, Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) must first make his 2020 debut. Unfortunately for the British born champion however, the lack of a live audience has made his return an arduous question to answer.
“We know AJ’s only going to fight once this year,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to ESPN. “We want to give ourselves the best opportunity to bring in a crowd, and obviously the later the better. But it’s still not a gimme at all. There’s still a very strong chance that AJ will have to fight behind closed doors.”
Throwing punches inside of an empty arena will be much different for a man who has grown accustomed to doing so in front of thousands of screaming British fans. The O2 arena in Liverpool, England has become the 30 year old Joshua’s home away from home. But even with countless knockouts inside of that aforementioned venue, it doesn’t seem likely that Joshua will be making a trip there for his matchup with Pulev.
“Their regulations comply with the government, so at the moment they’re closed,” explained Hearn. “So they would need to open up. We’d need to get an understanding from the government what is allowed in arenas. Are you going to open at 50 per cent [capacity]? Are you going to open up 100 per cent? There’s a lot of work that has to go into that with the government and The O2.”
Bernard Hopkins: “I Think Joshua Beats Tyson Fury by Late Knockout
By: Hans Themistode
Words such as strong, powerful and resilient were quickly replaced with fragile, overrated and over the hill.
The first set of words described current unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua for the vast majority of his career. The second set came as a result of four knockdowns and an upset loss at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. in June of 2019.
Joshua, would of course dust himself off and step into the ring with Ruiz yet again six months later. The results the second time around were much different as Joshua boxed circles around his man.
With Ruiz now in his rearview mirror, Joshua has been linked to a contest with WBC belt holder Tyson Fury in the not so distant future. The loss to Ruiz may have revealed a few chinks in the muscular armor of Joshua, but for former two division world champion Bernard Hopkins, he believes that the loss to Ruiz will lead to a victory over Fury.
“I like Joshua to be tested in this fight,” said Hopkins to Sky Sports. “To get his feelings hurt early which might be a knockdown but he will get up. I believe that he learned lessons from being overconfident. He paid a big price but he redeemed himself. So now that he has the page in his memory of what not to do, I think Joshua beats Tyson Fury by late knockout. But it will be an interesting and exciting five or six rounds in the beginning. After that, Joshua’s boxing IQ and experience will overwhelm Tyson Fury. I like Joshua by late knockout.”
At only 30 years of age, Joshua has built up an impressive resume. Wins over Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz and Dillian Whyte have pushed Joshua to a multi year title reign. Conflate those aforementioned victories with the gold Olympic medal dangling around his neck from the 2012 London games, and Joshua has already scratched off most of the goals from his to do list.
Still, greatness is a word that Hopkins does not throw around lightly. With an undisputed title reign at 160 pounds, coupled with his record setting 20 title defenses, the newly inducted hall of famer knows a thing or two about greatness and how to achieve it.
In the case of Fury, Hopkins views him as the path that Joshua needs to take in order to achieve that status. The undefeated WBC belt holder is fresh off a one sided stoppage win against long reigning champion Deontay Wilder.
Their contest was built up to be one of the most competitive and hyped up matches in boxing history. However, Fury delivered a statement on the night as he knocked Wilder down twice before forcing his corner to throw in the towel.
To the hall of famer, Joshua can pick up any amount of wins that he wants. But in order to achieve greatness, only one contest will lead Joshua to that status.
“This fight is Joshua’s stamp of approval of being great, he isn’t there yet,” explained Hopkins. “But this one will get him in the conversation. This is a legacy builder. He has to make a real serious statement.”
Mauricio Sulaiman Addresses Daniel Kinahan Situation, Joshua vs Fury, and Much More on Boxing Insider Radio
For this week’s episode on Boxing Insider Radio, the crew welcomes WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman as he calls in to talk with our panel on some of the topics that have grabbed boxing by the throat over the past few days.
With Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury reportedly coming to an agreement for a two fight deal in 2021, how realistic is that contest? Also the man behind the deal in Daniel Kinahan finds himself in legal trouble due to his questionable past. Sulaiman gives his thoughts on the situation. How about Dillian Whyte? Where does WBC interim champion fit into the Heavyweight landscape? Sulaiman addresses it all and more on this weeks podcast.
For the first time in roughly four months, boxing fans had a smile on their face. They sat back and watched as COVID-19 took away their 2020 boxing schedule after a promising start. Thoughts of Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 3, Leo Santa Cruz vs Gervonta Davis and Canelo Alvarez vs Gennadiy Golovkin 3 all fell by the wayside.
Now, fans were given no choice but to enjoy the grotesque mismatches of Shakur Stevenson vs Felix Caraballo. The frown that accompanied the faces of fans grew to anger. But with one announcement, it was turned upside down.
Fans of the sport broke their chairs, smashed their telephones and screamed uncontrollably as unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) and WBC belt holder Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) informed the public that they agreed on a two fight showdown in 2021.
But things quickly became strange when the man behind the scenes who helped broker the deal in Daniel Kinahan, is said to have a hand in more than just boxing.
Drugs, illegal firearms sales and a long list of other crimes now accompany the name of Kianhan. Which in turn, makes Fury vs Joshua a moot point. Fans of the sport became confused as to what his alleged illegal associations meant for the biggest fight in quite some time. Joining fans in their confusion is WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman. Much like the fans who read the headlines all across the Internet, a puzzled Sulaiman scratched his head.
“I have no idea,” admitted Sulaiman on Boxing Insider Radio. “Since we have had his pandemic, I have chosen to keep a very clean, mental health. And to do that, I avoid anything that creates anxiety. So I don’t really follow much of what goes on unless it’s something positive or inspires me. I choose not to listen to gossip or whatever is not official. I have followed very little. And I have no interest in getting involved in what is not for the betterment of the sport.”
Kinahan and his current legal troubles aren’t the only thing that is in the way of the mega showdown between Joshua and Fury though. While the rest of the world marks Joshua vs Fury and their collective calendars, Deontay Wilder paces back and forth in his palatial estate. Seething, fists clenched and smoke fuming from the top of his head. With a title reign that stretches five years and the most devastating right hand in boxing history. Wilder is incredulous to the conjecture of most counting him out of their upcoming third clash.
Sulaiman however, is not. The WBC President is quick to remind everyone that although he is unsure of when, their third contest will certainly happen.
“Right now we don’t know when boxing is going to resume for some specific fights such as the rematch between Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury. We don’t know if that fight will happen October, November, December, next year. We cannot control that. But for the WBC there is a legal contract that they signed for a third fight.”
Wilder and Fury of course, gave the fans one of the most dramatic heavyweight contests in history when they battled to a highly controversially draw in 2018. There was nothing contentious in their rematch however, this past February as Fury dropped Wilder twice before ultimately stopping him. One more contest now awaits both men. But while COVID-19 has made awaiting their third contest painfully difficult with no date set in stone, interim WBC titilst Dillian Whyte has been waiting even longer for his own shot at a world title.
It’s been five years since Whyte suffered his lone loss to Anthony Joshua. Since then, Lebron James added another NBA title to his resume, Jay-Z dropped the 4:44 album and Tom Brady grabbed two more Super Bowl titles to give him a grand total of six. During that span, Whyte hasn’t just sat back on his laurels either. He’s taken down three undefeated fighters, two former world champions and won every possible title eliminator thrown in his direction.
With everything completed on his end, Sulaiman believes that he cannot make the British born fighter wait any longer.
“For the WBC there is a mandatory title defense that the champion has to make. The mandatory challenger is the interim champion Dillian Whyte. He has the right to enforce his title shot after the Wilder vs Fury third fight. Fury vs Joshua is just speculation. They have both come out and said that they have a deal which is very good. But there are many things that must take place before it actually happens.”
Tyson Fury Tabbed as Early Favorite Against Both Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder
By: Hans Themistode
When Tyson Fury made the claim that he was the best fighter in the world several years ago, he was met with laughs and smart remarks. Now however, there isn’t a smile in sight when those words are uttered.
If you’re looking for a seat at the table for a date with Fury in the coming years, it’s best that you take a rain check. The current WBC Heavyweight titlist has three candle lit dinners with some of the best fighters that the division has to offer in Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
A win in the sport of boxing is never guaranteed, but in the case of Fury, the betting market seems to believe that the outcome will be the same regardless whom he faces. Which is to say, Fury’s hand will be raised in victory while his opponent is either slumped over the bottom rope or left scratching their head trying to figure out what went wrong.
Believers in both Wilder and Joshua could rake in the big bucks if they side with either man as they’ve been given +175 and +275 odds respectively. Those looking for even better better numbers, can throw a few dollars on the chances of a draw. Whether fans decide to take the +2500 odds associated with Wilder vs Fury 3 or the +3000 odds linked to Joshua vs Fury, the outcome of a draw will leave bettors planning an early retirement.
With Fury becoming the man to beat in the division, it’s a position he isn’t familiar with. In his 2015 title fight against Wladimir Klitschko, Fury was expected to become victim number 23 on Klitschko’s long title reign. But at +350, someone cashed in big time as the British born big man won an ugly unanimous decision.
At +105 odds for his rematch with Wilder, Fury once again rewarded someone’s bank account with another stellar win. Now that he’s in the favored seat though, bettors could still cash in with him. Just not as much as they’ve grown accustomed to.
Wilder vs Fury 3 has a tentative date set for December of 2020 while Joshua will get his crack in back to back fights in 2021. Provided of course, Fury gets by Wilder again and Joshua takes care of his IBF mandatory challenger in Kubrat Pulev.
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury Reach Agreement For Two Fight Deal
By: Hans Themistode
The road to Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury seemed nonexistent roughly one year ago.
Joshua was fresh off a loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. that not only saw him lose his undefeated record, but also his three Heavyweight titles. Fury on the other hand, was coming off a split draw against Deontay Wilder and in their upcoming rematch, many predicted he would be kissing the canvas.
Fast forward one year later, and Joshua redeemed himself in his rematch with Ruiz. While Fury made it look easy against Wilder, stopping him in the seventh round. Now that they’ve established themselves as the best fighters in the division, they’ve reportedly agreed to settle the score on who deserves the top spot.
“We’re making great progress,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to Sky Sports News. “There is still a lot to overcome [but] are looking at venues and dates.”
The news of the deal might be music to the ears of boxing fans, but to Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte, he wants to hear none of it. The agreement between both champions are reported to be a two fight deal, which could push back Whyte’s championship hopes.
The British born fighter has been waiting for years for his crack at another world title. And although the news of Fury vs Joshua has left him fuming, Hearn doesn’t plan on skipping over him.
“We have the Dillian Whyte mandatory which is due before this fight,” said Hearn. “But it’s fair to say [Joshua and Fury] are in agreement regarding the financial terms of the fight. We’ve been talking to [Fury’s management team] MTK, giving them the assurances from Joshua’s side. All the details on the structure of the deal is approved from our side. And it is from Fury’s side, as well. We’re in a good place. It’s fair to say that, in principle, both guys have agreed to that fight.”
Joshua vs Fury is quite possibly the biggest fight in British boxing history. With Joshua currently holding three world titles and Fury in possession of the remaining two in the WBC and Ring Magazine belts, the contest between them is going to be for all of the marbles.
Before the ink can dry on any deal between the two however, both men have their own obstacles to deal with. For Joshua, he currently has a date with IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev set for later on this year. Fury Alternatively, has a 6 ft 7 inch former champion with the hardest hitting right hand in boxing history according to most, standing in front of him in Deontay Wilder.
Any slip ups by either man could put an end to their matchup. Something that Hearn is well aware of.
“A lot to overcome in the meantime. We’re moving in the right direction. I’m confident that both guys have given their blessing for the fight to go ahead.”
Anthony Joshua Doesn’t Blame Kubrat Pulev For Refusing to Step Aside
By: Hans Themistode
Current unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is having a hard time keeping his eyes on the prize. With WBC belt holder Tyson Fury constantly calling him out, it’s been difficult to focus on anyone else. However, the last time Joshua looked ahead, he found himself on the mat on four separate occasions before ultimately getting stopped by Andy Ruiz Jr. in mid 2019.
Joshua, of course, has since bounced back. Now, he is now in line to face off against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. The former title challenger has been rolling since losing to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, winning eight straight matchups.
Pulev has done all of the dirty work. He faced the virtual unknowns such as George Arias and Maurice Harris to knocking off title contenders such as Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury. He’s now exactly in the position that he wants to be. And don’t expect him to simply relinquish his spot so easily. Even if it means most of the boxing world hating him for coming in between one of the biggest fights in recent history.
“Pulev’s entitled to do exactly what he wants,” said Joshua to IFL TV during a recent interview. “He’s in position to fight me. So, if he wants the opportunity to fight, he sticks to his guns. But if he wants to see, you know, the two world champions in Great Britain clash, then step aside. But that’s the only options.”
Joshua may claim that Pulev has two options, but at 39, he may have only one. Stepping aside during a global pandemic in order to allow Tyson Fury and Joshua to meet up in the ring, may not be in his best interest. But putting all pessimism to the side, Pulev could opt to sit on the sidelines and collect not only ring rust, but also piles of cash. But that’s only one side of the equation. Fury still has business of his own to handle in a third fight with Deontay Wilder.
“If he wants to fight me and he’s confident, come get this work. Or if you would rather sit back and watch what happens with me and Tyson Fury, that option’s there as well. But if I’m honest with you, my negotiations with Pulev were a bit different. I think [Fury] has a lot of things he needs to sort out with Deontay Wilder.”
Tyson Fury on Anthony Joshua Showdown: “First Time I Connect, His Legs Will Do a Dance”
By: Hans Themistode
Tyson Fury isn’t just a boxer, apparently he is also a fortune teller.
In 2015, Fury told every and anyone who would listen that he was going to make it look easy against long standing Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Those who laughed though, were left shell shocked when Fury did exactly what he said he would do. Three years later, he told the world that he would box circles around Deontay Wilder. Outside of two knockdowns on the night, Fury did exactly what he said he would do once again. Fast forward two years to February of 2020, and Fury made his boldest prediction yet.
A win wasn’t good enough in his rematch with Wilder. No, he wanted his hand raised before the final bell. If you’ve been paying attention to the theme thus far, then you’ll know that he was right once again. Stopping Wilder in the seventh round. Now, with a perfect record not only in the ring, but also in his predictions, Fury is making another prognostication.
“I’ll knock him out around two to three rounds,” said Fury when asked how a fight with unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would play out. “First time I connect, his legs will do a dance. I’ll just jump on him like that fat kid [Andy Ruiz]. I’ll tell you what shot it’s gonna be, should I? ‘Left hook to the temple, you’re gonna see him do a Bambi dance all over the ring.”
Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury would be a dream matchup for most boxing fans. However, COVID-19 isn’t the only reason why that contest won’t be happening anytime soon. Fury is currently wrapped up in a third and seemingly final fight with Wilder. Joshua on the other hand, has to get past IBF mandatory challenger in Kubrat Pulev.
But even if Joshua runs through Pulev and Fury gets rid of Wilder and health experts knockout COVID-19, Fury believes there could be another obstacle.
“Eddie Hearn talks a lot of hot air as usual. Have the guts to step up to the plate and get flattened, son. Give the fans what they want and stop running away from the biggest fight since Lennox [Lewis] fought Frank Bruno.”
Anthony Joshua:”Pulev, Ain’t On My Level”
By: Hans Themistode
Not even COVID-19 can stop current unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua from perfecting his craft. The 30 year old Joshua has been able to keep himself in shape during this mostly worldwide quarantine, and for good reason.
Whenever health experts deem it safe enough to return to the ring, Joshua will have IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev awaiting him. On paper, Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) seems like a solid test for Joshua. Since losing in his first crack at a world title to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, Pulev has won eight straight. The wins have been against quality names such as Hughie Fury, Kevin Johnson and most notably, Dereck Chisora.
In short, Pulev has earned his shot at a title. But with that being said, Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) doesn’t seem to be concerned in the slightest. In fact, you could say that he already has his eyes set on a unification contest with Tyson Fury.
“It’s in a way overlooking Pulev, but I’ve gotta look through Pulev because I’m gonna walk through Pulev,” Joshua said in reference to his IBF mandatory challenger and upcoming opponent. “That’s the mindset. I’ve gotta walk through him. When it comes to Pulev, he ain’t on my level. I want the boys at the top. I ain’t worried about the boys, you know, around me. I’m walking through them all, and that’s the mindset that we have to have as fighters.”
Pulev is nothing more than a blimp on the radar. At least according to Joshua. And while he could take it as a sign of disrespect, Pulev is simply being treated as everyone else in the division.
“I’m looking at Tyson Fury like I’m gonna walk through him as well, because I had my issue last year, I got through it and I wanna correct it. And I told you like people don’t know what that does for a fighter mentally, when he loses in front of the world, and what it takes to come back. And, you know, having this time to reflect has been a blessing in disguise. It’s been a blessing in disguise, so we’ll see what the future holds. When Fury and Wilder’s ready, I’ll tell you this, I will not turn down that offer.”
David Haye Willing to Face Winner of Joshua vs Fury: “All my Injuries Have Healed Up’
By: Hans Themistode
David Haye is currently in the midst of his third retirement. But just like the previous two, He isn’t exactly ready to call it a career.
The former unified Cruiserweight champion and one time Heavyweight titlist, ended a four year hiatus to stop the unheralded Mark De Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj in 2016. That win streak however, along with Haye’s hopes for another title shot, ended quickly with back to back knockout losses to Tony Bellew in 2017 and 2018.
Since then, Haye decided to ride off into the sunset for seemingly one last time. But now, it looks as though he could change his mind. Nevertheless don’t expect him to make a return to the ring against a rising contender or a no name opponent. No, only the best of the best can make the man nicknamed “Hayemaker” return one more time.
“The only one that I would do it for is the winner of AJ and Tyson Fury because that would be No1 vs No1,” said Haye in an interview with Behind The Gloves. “That’s probably the only one, but not really. It’s a lot to go through.”
Over the course of Haye’s career, he spent the vast majority of it hurt. Injuries to his bicep, a torn achilles and most notably an injured toe hampered him for long stretches. But now, as is often the case with retired fighters, Haye feels rejuvenated and better than ever.
“I got my body in a good place right now, and I’m in a good place. All my injuries have healed up. There’s been no hardcore training. I’ve been at home with my weights. I’ve enjoyed this time where the intensity has been taken from a ten to a three. Everyone thinks I train super, super hard. Not really. I probably train between half an hour to 45-minute every day, but I have a nice routine.”
“I’m not training for an athletic performance. I’m training for vanity. When I watch fights now, I think ‘I’d slip this jab, I’d do this and do that.’ That’s the slippery slope when your brain starts going like that.”
It’s hard to get the 2018 version of Haye out of the minds of fans. He was slow, unathletic, lethargic and a shell of his former self. It’s difficult to imagine that version of Haye standing a chance against Joshua, Fury or any top ten Heavyweight.
At one point, Haye had it all. He possessed the power, speed and finesse to give anyone in the Heavyweight division fits. But even if he could get his hands on a time machine and reach back to his old championship caliber self, Haye isn’t 100% sure it would be enough.
“I remember watching Anthony Joshua when he [recently] fought Andy Ruiz, and I thought, ‘Damn, that would be very, very difficult to beat,” said Haye. “Even on my best day, that version of him [Joshua] that is boxing, and light on his feet, he’s ready and fearful as well,’ that’s hard to beat.”
“I thought the same thing when I saw Tyson Fury fight Wilder. I’m watching, and I’m like, ‘That guy [Fury] is a hard guy to beat.’ So those are the two performances I’ve seen since I’ve been retired where I watched it and gone, ‘That would have been a hard work, no matter what version of me that was.’