Anthony Joshua once again says he’ll agree to fight Tyson Fury with no belts on the line and that he would “smoke” him. It’s good to know that IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is ready and willing to fight Fury without any titles if need be.
If Joshua and Fury both give up their titles, they could fight and no one would see it being any different. When you get to the level of a Floyd Mayweather Jr in terms of popularity, belts are unimportant and not needed.
If Fury and Joshua want to save themselves the headaches involved with having to defend against unpopular mandatory challengers, they should give up their titles and maybe hold a trinket belt to see as adornment when they enter the ring.
There’s a real chance with Joshua about to defend against the talented former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk on September 25th and Fury facing former WBC champion Deontay Wilder on October 9th that both champions could lose those fights.
Fury, 32, currently holds the WBC title, but that he could lose that belt to the vengeful Deontay, who sounds like he’s ready to pull off an upset.
If Joshua and Fury lose their titles, the boxing world would still like to see them fight each other.
As popular as Joshua and Fury both are at this point, the absence of any titles wouldn’t negatively impact the interest of boxing fans in a fight between them.
For many fans, they forget that Fury even holds the WBC title because he’s not made a defense of the belt during the 1 1/2 years that he’d held the strap.
Surprisingly, the World Boxing Council hasn’t stripped Fury of his WBC title and given him the ‘Champion in Recess’ tag, which they normally do when they have a champ that sits on a title for a prolonged period without defending it.
If Fury wasn’t a big star, it’s likely the WBC would have already stripped him.
“Without the belts? I rate that. We’ll fight, 100%, let’s do it. I’ll smoke that guy,” said Anthony Joshua to The Overlap in talking about Tyson Fury.
Joshua may be realizing that the fastest way for him to get a fight with Fury would be for him to be willing to face him without titles. If Fury or Joshua loses, they shouldn’t let the loss of titles hold them back from fighting.
“He’s a fighter, isn’t he. What’s the worst that can happen? You get hit. He’s been doing it for years. I just know on my end, and my management team and my promoter, we did everything we can to make this happen. You’re the one that let the fans down.
Joshua has no time to give Fury respect
“I haven’t got no time for none of them. They are all enemies at the end of the day,” said Joshua when asked if he has respect for Fury.
“I don’t look at anyone in my industry like that. They are just people that I want to fight, [but] I like Wladimir Klitschko, he’s cool,” said Joshua.
Let’s hope that Fury can finally find his way back to the ring this October when he’s supposed to be defending his WBC title against Deontay Wilder.
If Fury continues to have problems, the WBC needs to think about freeing up the belt so that able-bodied fighters can compete for it.
As far as Joshua goes, there are already many boxing fans that don’t believe he’ll ever fight because they believe he secretly doesn’t want the fight out of fear.
If Fury loses to Joshua, it’ll be clear that he’s the #2 heavyweight in Great Britain. Even then, Dillian Whyte would have to be viewed as a serious threat to Fury.