Anthony Joshua thinks that lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) can possibly beat WBC champ Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) in their rematch on February 22 IF he sticks to the game plan for 12 rounds.
Joshua notes that Fury has taken a couple of “soft” jobs in Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin to give his shaky self-confidence a badly-needed boost following his 12 round draw against Wilder last December. It wasn’t Fury that picked Wallin and Schwarz though as confidence boosters.
Those guys were selected by Fury’s promoters at Top Rank Boxing, who wanted to increase his popularity in the States before they put him back in with Wilder. If Fury had his way, he would have fought Wilder in an immediate rematch, and got it done with.
Last time Fury fought Wilder, he tried to knock him out in the championship rounds, and he ended up getting dropped twice. Although Fury, 31, is saying he wants to stop Wilder in the rematch, it’s likely that he’ll elect to box him for 12 rounds.
Fury’s new trainers want him to throw with more power
It’s not a good sign though that Fury’s new trainer Javan ‘SugarHill’ Steward and assistant trainer Andy Lee want him to to throw with more power against Wilder, since that means he’s going to need to stand still to land.
Like many fighters, Fury is incapable of generating maximum power when he’s on the move. Moreover, all the energy that is needed for the 6’9″, 260+ lb Fury to CONSTANTLY move his big frame around the ring to evade Wilder will sap what little power he has.
Joshua: Fury has fought soft-touch opponents to boost his confidence
“Fury has taken some relatively soft-touch fights to get his confidence back and is going into the new year as a new man with a new team and a new mindset,” said Joshua to skysports.
“He can beat Wilder providing he follows his game-plan for the 12 rounds. A good boxer, who is young, fresh and can follow a game-plan, can be victorious,” said Joshua.
It’s crucial that Fury follow his coaches’ game plan to the letter for him to beat Wilder, but if they want him to slug, he could be doomed. Steward and Lee are both guys from the Kronk Gym in Detroit, and they’re likely to want Fury to be more aggressive in this fight. Why tinker with success though? Fury did a fine job when he was boxing Wilder last time they fought. It doesn’t make sense for Fury to go away from that, and fight Wilder’s fight by trading with him.
Fury has no choice but to move constantly
If Fury had a steel-chin, then it would make sense for him to stand up to Wilder, and beat him in the trenches. That’s not the case though. Wilder knocked Fury unconscious in the 12th round, and the fight should have been stopped. Indeed, most referees likely wouldn’t have given Fury a count when they saw the state he was in. It would be too risky for them to do that.
Smothering Wilder on the inside could be effective for Fury, but it’s not a guarantee of success. Wilder has scored knockouts of opponents that tried to smother him. We saw that in his wins over Kelvin Price and Artur Szpilka.