The all-British mega-fight between WBC and lineal champion Tyson Fury and WBO, WBA, and IBF champion Anthony Joshua may be happening sooner than you think.
Reports are circulating that former WBC champion Deontay Wilder has given demands to step aside to make the Fury vs Joshua fight happen. It can be recalled that Fury knocked out Wilder in their rematch last February. Wilder has a rematch clause and after the loss, he said that he would exercise his right to fight Fury for the third time. However, because the clamor for a Fury vs Joshua mega-fight is also on the table, there have been reports that Wilder would be offered a step-aside fee to make that fight happen.
Fury’s promoter Bob Arum doesn’t believe that Wilder will agree to step aside to make the Fury vs Joshua fight happen. According to Arum, paying Wilder and Kubrat Pulev (who is supposed to be AJ’s next foe) step-aside money would be ludicrous. Arum also stressed that they are determined to make the trilogy fight happen before the end of the year.
However, according to reports, Deontay Wilder has made his demands to step aside for the Fury vs Joshua fight to happen. These include a $10M step-aside fee and a guarantee to be the first fighter to face the winner of the Fury vs Joshua fight.
British Promoter Eddie Hearn said last month that if Wilder steps aside, it would be embarrassing because it would show that Wilder is weak as he will be allowing Joshua to take what is supposed to be his (Wilder).
Hearn then used his ward (Joshua) as an example since AJ fought Andy Ruiz right away after losing his belts to the Mexican-American.
Aside from the negative image that it could bring Wilder, stepping aside could jeopardize his chance of getting revenge. Although he hasn’t spoken about it, there is a chance that Fury will retire if he beats Joshua because by then, the Gypsy King will have conquered every challenge available. Plus, The Joshua money will be so huge that he can live comfortably for the rest of his life.
Given that Wilder will have a new trainer on his team, stepping aside and getting the assurance of fighting the winner of Fury vs Joshua isn’t a bad idea at all. It would be a prudent decision on the part of the Bronze Bomber.
Not only will he be getting a handsome step-aside fee, but a test run against a less fancy opponent would also be a wise move on the part of Wilder. But finding that opponent would be a tricky one. That boxer should be credible enough to make Wilder look good but at the same time, he should not pose enough threat that Wilder will look bad, or end up getting upset.
Perhaps Gerald Washington or Dominic Breazeale would fit the bill. Wilder previously knocked out both and both are tall enough to mimic either Fury or Joshua. Wilder should be confident against both, which is also key since he is coming off a very demoralizing defeat. Since both Washington and Breazeale are under the PBC, making the fight won’t be a problem.
From the business standpoint, the longer that Wilder and Fury stay away from each other, the better it would be for building up the trilogy bout. Of course, the danger here is if both lose and the third fight will lose all its luster. But the rewards here still outweigh the risks. So let’s talk about the Fury vs Joshua fight now.
Joshua is a -1200 favorite at Bovada to beat Kubrat Pulev who came back at +700. AJ is also a -200 odds on favorite in a potential showdown with former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk who was pegged at +160. But If Wilder does end up stepping aside and AJ faces Tyson Fury next, this will be the first time that Joshua will be an underdog in his professional boxing career.
Joshua opened as a -143 favorite when he challenged Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. He was at -260 when the betting lines for that bout closed. Even after losing to Andy Ruiz, Joshua was a -357 when the betting lines for their rematch opened. AJ closed at -714 for his second fight with Ruiz.
But Fury is a different animal. The Gypsy King doesn’t just have the size and power, he has a better skill set and experience than Joshua. He was a -152 underdog in his first fight with Deontay Wilder but that ended in a draw. Fury was also a +105 underdog in their rematch and he knocked out Wilder in seven rounds. This will mark the first time in three fights that Fury is the favorite.
Had this bout happened last year, the odds would have been flipped the other way. AJ held the WBA, IBF, and WBO belts and looked unstoppable. On the other hand, Fury was making his comeback to the ring and was coming off a split draw against Wilder in December 2018 in a fight where he was dropped twice by the Bronze Bomber.
But Joshua suffered a massive upset at the hands of Ruiz and many thought that he could not recover from the defeat. However, AJ fought the perfect game plan in their rematch to recapture his belts. Meanwhile, Fury dominated Wilder in their rematch, battering the Bronze Bomber from start to finish in a one-sided fight.
Bettors see value in Joshua’s current odds, as he currently comes in at plus money. He has never been the betting underdog in his career, and save for the Ruiz upset, he’s proved that inside the ring. On the other hand, Fury was the underdog in both Wilder fights. He ended up with a controversial draw and a knockout win in both bouts.
WBC and Lineal champion Tyson Fury is considered to be the #1 heavyweight fighter in the world today. The Gypsy King is coming off a February 2020 knockout victory over Deontay Wilder in a fight that he dominated from start to finish.
He is undefeated at 30-0-1 with 21 knockouts. The draw on his record was from his first bout against Wilder. Fury was knocked down twice in that fight but many believe that he did enough on the scorecards to merit a win. The Gypsy King is 5-0-1 with three knockouts since returning from a three-year layoff.
Fury first won the heavyweight title in 2015 when he ended Wladimir Klitschko’s record reign as heavyweight champion. He took three years off to settle personal issues but since his return, he has not only reclaimed pieces of the heavyweight title, but he’s established himself as the #1 heavyweight in the world.
The title of the best heavyweight in the world was once a toss-up between Fury, Wilder, and Anthony Joshua. But among the three, Joshua had the better claim not only because he had most of the belts but because he looked unbeatable and had a near-perfect record. But things went downhill in a hurry after AJ was knocked out by Andy Ruiz in June of 2019.
Many thought that Joshua would never recover from the defeat but the former Olympic Gold medalist showed his resilience as he bounced back to defeat Ruiz in a rematch six months later to recapture the belts. AJ fought the perfect fight against an out of shape Ruiz and he was able to bounce back and return to the picture.
Joshua was supposed to defend his belts against Kubrat Pulev next month but the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has shut down sports. Pulev is reportedly willing to accept a step-aside fee to allow AJ to fight Fury. If that is the case, then the British mega-fight may be happening sooner than expected.
Both these fighters are heavy-handed and both have shown that they can stand and trade with the biggest punchers in the business. Joshua 21 knockouts in 23 win so there is no doubt that AJ can fight fire with fire. However, this style didn’t work against Ruiz as his chin proved to be too fragile for Ruiz’s power and fast hands. Joshua re-modeled his attack in the rematch and used his size advantage to stick and box around the shorter Ruiz. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
But if AJ wants to box against Fury, it could be a long night for him. The Gypsy King is the slickest boxer in the heavyweight division. He uses long jabs and can slip his opponent’s punches with terrific head movement. He has impressive durability and conditioning as he went 12 rounds with Wilder during their first bout and he also took Klitschko to the final bell. During his dominant win over Wilder, Fury stood in front of Wilder and was able to bully the hardest puncher on the planet.
I’m not sure if Fury can bully Joshua the way he did Wilder during their second fight. AJ is much bigger and has a good technique to hold his own in the clinches. I think that Fury will try to fight AJ the way he fought Wilder in the first bout and Klitschko in 2015.
I think Joshua is no match for Fury because AJ isn’t hard to hit. Tyson Fury will use his elite footwork to get in and out without the risk of getting knocked. He will also utilize his jab to keep Joshua at bay.
I think this is going to be a long night for Joshua. It could be as boring as Fury’s win over Klitschko but if Joshua isn’t careful, Fury will knock him out cold. Either way, I think the Gypsy King wins this fight if it happens this year or early next year.
PREDICTION: TYSON FURY
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.