Anthony Joshua sees a fight between Tyson Fury and himself as unlikely to take place in 2021, and he sees a match against his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk as more probable at this point.
The boxing public wants to see the two heavyweight champions Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) and Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) meeting up next year, but Tyson may be forced to fight Deontay Wilder next.
Fury is in mediation with Wilder, and if the mediators side with ‘The Bronze Bomber,’ he could be facing him in February or March.
In hindsight, it might have been better for Fury to have stuck it out with Wilder rather than saying that their rematch contract had expired.
Joshua sees that Fury is all over the place lately with his December 5th fight against Agit Kabayel failing to happen, and then his contract issues with Wider.
What Joshua sees from Fury is the opposite of stability, and that makes him question whether he’ll get the same treatment when he attempts to fight him in 2021.
Joshua doesn’t want to waste a lot of time in putting his fights together. With Fury, who knows if he’ll make it to the ring or not.
“I don’t know what will happen in 2021, but if I were to bet all my money on it, I would say Usyk because he is with Matchroom, straightforward fight, and his track record shows when he says he is going to fight someone, he does,” said Joshua to ESPN.
Fury, 32, last fought in February in stopping Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) in the seventh round in their rematch. Wilder complained bitterly about Fury’s rabbit punches that he landed, and he also had issues with his gloves.
It’s unclear whether Joshua buys into Wilder’s complaints about the fight, but the rabbit punches that Fury was throwing were plain to see.
You couldn’t miss those even with both eyes closed. If Joshua fights Fury, he’ll need to watch out for the shots to the back of the head, but right now, that fight is in limbo.
Joshua needs to focus on taking mandatories against Kubrat Pulev on December 12th, and then with Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs). If Joshua doesn’t want to lose his WBO title, he’ll need to face Usyk, 33, in the first quarter of 2021.
Usyk and his promoter have already made it clear that they will NOT step aside. So if Joshua wants to keep his WBO belt, he’ll need to fight Usyk. It’s not a bad fight, and at least AJ can count on Usyk making it to the ring.
“When I look at Fury, great talent, but I don’t know whether he’s coming or going,” Joshua.
“I don’t know if he’s going to fight Wilder, or if he’s not going to fight Wilder, if he’s going to fight [Agit] Kabayel, or if he’s not going to fight Kabayel.
“He announced he was going to fight me, then the deal didn’t get signed, and we’re not fighting,” said Joshua.
I don’t see what the big deal is with AJ. He needs to put Fury on the backburner and take care of Pulev and Usyk. If Fury gets things straightened out with Wilder and shows himself capable of continuing with his career, Joshua should revisit trying to put a fight together with him.
It looks like Fury is going down the same street he did after he tasted success against Wladimir Klitschko. Something about Fury and success spells poison for him. He loses his ambition, it appears, and life spins out of control.
Joshua doesn’t need Fury right now because he’s got plenty of great fights he can take instead.
This is a small list of options for Joshua:
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Dillian Whyte
- Alexander Povetkin
- Felip Hrgovic
- Joe Joyce
- Andy Ruiz Jr
- Michael Hunter
- Tony Yoka
- Joseph Parker