Anthony Joshua is champing at the bit to tear through the heavyweight division and DESTROY Tyson Fury, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
Joshua’s personability has gone through a transformation in the last two weeks with him going from a polite easy-going chap to a trash-talking fighter, who wants to bash his opponents to pieces.
Hearn is overjoyed at the new Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs), and he’s hoping it lasts because he’s been too polite since he turned pro in 2013. At times, Joshua talks more like a politician than a boxer, weighing every word carefully before speaking.
Trash talking will only work for AJ if he can back up his tough talk because if he gets found out against Kubrat Pulev, Oleksandr Usyk or Tyson Fury, then he’s going to look silly with his new bold look.
AJ is ready to go through the division
“I just think he wants the fight and he’s not taking any s***,” said Eddie Hearn to IFL TV on Joshua wanting Fury fight. “He’s had the ups and downs, and he’s realized that there are a few fake friends out there, and he wants to fight, he wants to do the business, and go to work and he wants to go to work on the heavyweight division.
“I’m really excited at what I see in that respect. When people are patting you on the back all the time, it’s easy to get a bit comfortable. Right now, he’s like a caged animal and he wants to go out.
“He’s training so hard. He’s in unbelievable shape already. He’s going to go through the whole division,” said Hearn.
The good news for Joshua is he only has to beat a small handful of heavyweights for him to tear through the division like he wants to. These are the only guys Joshua has to worry about:
- Tyson Fury
- Deontay Wilder
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Dillian Whyte
Wilder and Whyte could both be removed by Fury in his next two fights. Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) is supposed to be facing Wilder in a trilogy match in December, and that should be easy work for him. Wilder’s career will be finished after that loss.
If Fury doesn’t dodge his WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte, then he’ll need to face him in the first half of 2021. Whyte is another Dereck Chisora type of fighter, and we’ve seen what Fury did to him in their two fights. Chisora was completely dominated by Fury, and it wasn’t even sporting.
Really, the only tough opponent that stands in Joshua’s way from total domination of the heavyweight division is the tall 6’9″ Fury, and he may be too strong for him.
Hearn: Joshua wants to destroy Fury
“He told me the other day, he’s going to destroy Tyson Fury,” said Hearn on what Joshua told him.
“I believe him. I said, ‘I know you will,'” Hearn said in recalling what he told Joshua after he said he’s going to destroy Fury. “I fully expect him to stop Tyson Fury. He’s coming to the Dillian Whyte fight [on August 22].
“I said to him the other night, ‘You’re welcome to come because there’s no media, no fans.’
“The thing for him, when he comes to a show, he just wants to watch boxing, but it’s very difficult at the O2 when you walk in and people are lagging on about eight points.
“So here [at the Matchroom Boxing HQ] would be an opportunity for him to sit and watch. It’s like one of the rawest of environments.
“I’m not sure if there’s a video but I know what happened,” said Hearn on Joshua and Fury meeting in Marbella, Spain.
It’s starting to bother Joshua that Fury is receiving so much praise from fans due to his recent victory over Wilder last February. Before that fight, Fury was getting a lot of love from the fans, but since then, it’s gone off the charts.
The fans are not only smothering Fury with compliments, but they’re also rating him above Joshua. That’s the part that is getting on Joshua’s nerves.
He obviously feels disrespected and overlooked by boxing fans, and he wants to show them how wrong they are by beating up their hero Fury and exposing him as a pretender to the throne. Fury was dressed as a King and carried to the ring for his rematch with Deontay Wilder.
Joshua wants to put Fury in his place and show the boxing world that he’s more of the King’s jester than a King.
Hearn doubts Fury vs. Wilder happens in 2020
“Not really. I would expect him to do so but from Deontay Wilder yet, so we’ll see,” said Hearn when told that former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel said that he plans on taking the trilogy match against Tyson Fury in December.
“Obviously, a lot depends on getting people back into the buildings for that fight to happen, but I hope it [Fury vs. Wilder 3] does happen because Dillian Whyte has got the winner, and AJ is looking to fight in the undisputed in the second half of next year.
“Of course, and that’ll unfold right there,” said Hearn in talking about Whyte needing to win his next fight against Alexander Povetkin on August 22 at the Matchroom Fight Camp.
Eddie could be right about Fury vs. Wilder III not taking place in 2020. There’s too much money that the two heavyweights will be losing out on if they fight behind closed doors in 2020, and it doesn’t make sense for them to do that.
The vaccine is supposed to be out by December in the U.S, and things could be back to normal in boxing by January or February. In other parts of the world, Russia is approving their own version of the COVID 19 vaccine next week, and they’ll likely be the first country using it.
It makes sense for Fury and Wilder to put off their third fight until early next year so they can battle in front of a large crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Will Joshua fight in 2020?
“Joshua is closer to returning to the ring after tweaking his knee a few months ago,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN. “Joshua told Sky Sports, ‘The knee is as good as it can be. I’m on two feet, and I’m sure I can start sparing. So I’m looking for some sparring partners in a week or two to start training camp. Should Joshua fight in 2020?”
“Yes, he should fight in 2020, this miserable year,” said Sergio Mora. “He needs to forget about 2020, and concentrate on 2021. So get rid of his mandatory Kubrat Pulev, which is not going to be a huge fight whether there were going to be fans in the stands or not.
“It’s one of those fights that’s going to be popular because of Joshua, not because of Pulev. So take care of his mandatory, and then think about the undisputed championship of the world. Reset in 2020 with Tyson Fury.”
It’s a really good question about whether Joshua faces Kubrat Pulev in 2020. Given that it’s a mismatch and there’s not a lot of interest in the fight, Joshua may choose to face the 39-year-old Bulgarian in 2020.
There’s still a mountain of money that Joshua and Pulev will be losing out on with the absence of the gate revenue if they elect to fight this year. If you’re Pulev, you’d want the fight to take place next year. Joshua is already fabulously wealthy, and he might not be too concerned at losing a few million by fighting behind closed doors.
Hearn wants AJ to face Pulev in December
“Eddie Hearn has floated December as a possible date for Joshua to return against Kubrat Pulev,” said Mannix. “I think that one way or another, he should, even if this pandemic is still ongoing and it limits or eliminates crowds or fans in the stands.
“Joshua should go ahead with a fight anyway, even if it’s behind closed doors or in front of a limited amount of fans. He should go ahead and do it. Kubrat Pulev is not some big draw.
“So while Anthony Joshua consistently makes five, ten million dollars for his live gates, Pulev is the one opponent that’s not going to continue to that. And so if you’re going to lose some money from a live gate, you might as well lose it against an opponent like Pulev.
“He’s not in the same position as Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury is in because they simply can’t go forward with their third fight without having a crowd because that crowd represents 15, 17, $2o million dollars for that major event.”
Hearn wants to get it over with by having Joshua face Pulev this year because he’s got one of his other Matchroom Boxing fighters Oleksandr Usyk waiting for his WBO mandated title shot against AJ in the first half of 2021.
Joshua will likely face Pulev this year
“So if you’re Anthony Joshua, you take that fight,” said Mannix. “I tell you, based on my conversations with Joshua in the last six months or so, I think he will.
“Joshua is the type of guy that wants to keep his career moving forward. To understand that just waiting forever just wastes time in your career. He’s 30-years-old, he’s still got a lot of prime years left.
“Get through Kubrat Pulev, and then hope by the summer of 2021 that the opportunity is there both with the fight with Tyson Fury and the crowd that can be in attendance for that fight to take place, the biggest fight that can be made in boxing.”
“Having to handle your mandatories can always be annoying,” said Mora. But if he can take care of the Pulev, get him out of the way in 2020, and put that year behind you and then focus on Tyson Fury in the beautiful year of 2021 for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.
“Reset and move forward. It’s on, man, and I think he should take care of it.”
It would be surprising if Joshua and Hearn choose to reschedule the Pulev fight in 2021. With the way they’re both talking, neither seems to be all that concerned about the huge loss of the gate money for the Pulev fight.