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Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury_

By Lewis Watson, May 19, 2020

What Would Happen If Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury Were To Fight Tomorrow?

Boxing doesn’t look to be returning any time soon.

COVID-19 continues to paralyse sport with players, fans and those involved forced to reminisce on the past and speculate on the future. Temporarily, the “now” is on pause.

So as the fight game finds itself flat on the canvas, we are left to look tentatively towards match-ups of the future – and there’s nothing bigger than a potential Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury mega-money matchup.

At the moment it’s simply not on the cards, but the longer the COVID crisis continues the more likely it could happen.

The battle to be undisputed

Not since 1999 has a heavyweight been able to declare himself “undisputed” in the weight class.

Lennox Lewis achieved the feat by unifying his WBC belt with Evander Holyfield’s WBA and IBF titles after a unanimous decision victory win over “Real Deal” in Las Vegas.

Riddick Bowe, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano are just some of the names that laid the path for Lewis to follow over the glittering history of the heavyweight division.

As more and more belts have become regarded as “world titles” this task has become harder and harder – Joshua and Fury will be bringing six straps to the table if they fight (the four recognised world titles along with the Ring Magazine and the IBO belts).

How Did They Get Here?

Both fighters have experienced bumps along the road en route to the summit of the heavyweight division.

Tyson Fury was first to become a recognised world champion as the “Gypsy King” dethroned Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg. This 2015 upset would be the last time Fury fought until June 2018.

Fury would struggle with mental health and weight issues outside of the ring after achieving the unthinkable against the Ukrainian great.

It took six fights after his return for Fury to re-capture a world title. The “Gypsy King” stopped Deontay Wilder in February this year after an incredible one-sided display, with the WBC belt changing hands in Las Vegas.

Anthony Joshua’s reign as world champion started in 2016 in his 16th fight as a pro. A second-round stoppage of “Prince” Charles Martin saw “AJ” scoop the IBF title with ease, laying the foundation for a heavyweight reign that would last six defences.

Unifying the titles against Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 was Joshua’s signature win, with the WBO belt arriving after a mundane decision win over New Zealander Joseph Parker.

Joshua would drop his three titles last summer as Andy Ruiz Jr. caused the heavyweight upset of the decade. It was the Mexican’s Fairytale of New York as Joshua was knocked out inside seven enthralling rounds.

A rematch clause in the contracts meant the pair would meet again at the end of 2019, with Saudi Arabia named the host country.

A tactical, cautious display from the challenger saw Joshua romp to a unanimous decision victory grabbing back all three titles with both hands in a one-sided win against an overweight Ruiz Jr.

Now, as we approach the second half of 2020, both Briton’s hold all the heavyweight marbles as the excitement grows in anticipation of these two finally locking horns.

Strengths

Let’s start with Tyson Fury. With a 6′ 9″ frame yet the speed of a welterweight, Fury’s movement and elusiveness in the ring is his biggest weapon.

Getting hold of the “Gypsy King” is like trying to grab a bar of soap in the shower – in the blink of an eye, he’s slipped away, and your overhand right misses by half a yard.

A born fighter schooled in bare-knuckle boxing, Fury is a natural inside the squared circle. Now that he’s active and has got himself down to prime fighting weight, the WBC champ will be a handful for anyone.

Many dismissed his power, but after dissecting Wilder inside seven rounds earlier this year, Fury’s all-round game looks a lot healthier than many suggested. The notion that Fury has “feather fists” was proved wrong in devastating fashion against the “Bronze Bomber”.

Anthony Joshua is more of a one-punch KO artist that Fury. The former Olympic gold medallist has also been described as one of the best finishers in the sport, stepping on the gas when he’s got his opponent hurt.

As well as this natural power, Joshua showed in the rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. that he was able to box to instruction off the back foot.

Under the tutelage of his Olympic coach Rob McCracken, “AJ” demonstrated significant improvements in his defensive game, while popping the head off Ruiz Jr. with his long jab throughout the contest.

No occasion looks like phasing Joshua. The 30-year-old has achieved nearly everything in his short career as a fighter and will revel in the tag of an underdog if these two meet.

Weaknesses

Tyson Fury is unbeaten as a pro, with only a contested draw in his first fight with Deontay Wilder blemishing his record.

The most significant criticism of Fury has tended to focus around either his conditioning or his power. Still, through teaming up with trainer “Sugar Hill” Steward, Fury managed to make significant improvements to both during his last camp.

He has been dropped numerous times in his career, so Fury’s chin will be a target for a man with Joshua’s concussive power. Finding that chin is the biggest obstacle.

Joshua’s lack of head movement has seen him get caught and hurt by both Klitschko and Ruiz Jr. “AJ” has attempted to fight fire with fire in previous bouts, with him touching the canvas in two of his last six fights.

Joshua also knows what it’s like to lose. Demons of his loss against the “Destroyer” may resurface if Fury pressures him in the same aggressive manner that he picked apart Wilder in February.

These are the fine margins that could determine the winner and the loser if these two lock horns soon.

Verdict

At this moment in time, Tyson Fury looks unstoppable. The “Gypsy King” has added elements to his arsenal, which have made him close to a complete heavyweight fighter.

Joshua is astute enough not to walk into Fury’s traps, but over the 12-round championship distance, Fury has the ability to nullify what “AJ” does best.

Providing the occasion doesn’t get to either man, a decision victory for Fury is the current verdict.

Betting Tips

Back Tyson Fury to beat Anthony Joshua – 1/2 @ bet365