Former WBC cruiserweight champ/heavyweight contender turned pundit Tony Bellew picks Anthony Joshua to beat Tyson Fury if and when the super-fight takes place, with Bellew adding a caveat to his prediction: AJ has to do it inside six rounds. And Bellew makes his prediction based partly on the vicious combination punching Joshua is capable of.
Speaking with Talk Sport, “Bomber” went as far as to say that in his opinion Joshua is “the fastest combination puncher in the heavyweight division since Mike Tyson.” Now, that sure is saying something. The prime Mike Tyson was super fast, super accurate and super powerful, his lethal combos ruining plenty of good fighters (Trevor Berbick, Tyrell Biggs, Pinklon Thomas, a faded Larry Holmes). Is Joshua really in Tyson’s league as far as combination punching? Is AJ really the fastest combination puncher since the peak “Iron Mike?”
“AJ’s the fastest combination puncher in the heavyweight division since Mike Tyson,” Bellew stated this week. “No-one throws punches in combinations with the speed, power and ferocity that AJ does. As I said, he’s got six rounds to do it against Fury. If them six rounds go past then I don’t see anybody beating Tyson Fury after six rounds.”
The Fury-Joshua fight aside, is Bellew correct when he states how Joshua is the fastest big man in terms of combo punching since Tyson? What about the prime Riddick Bowe who, for a big man sure had fast hands? What about Evander Holyfield? Or Lennox Lewis? In terms of right now, Bellew is almost certainly correct – Joshua does put his punches together with a combination of speed, power and accuracy more efficiently than any rival heavyweight.
But great combination punchers like Holyfield (remember that won’t-take-no-for-an-answer combination Real Deal Holyfield belted Big George Foreman within the seventh round of their memorable battle?), Bowe, Lewis and David Tua, Ike Ibeabuchi, and even David Haye should not be forgotten.
How would Joshua have done against any of these former champions had he met them in their prime?