There’s an excellent chance that we could see a unification fight in December between heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in a fight for the undisputed championship. This is the match that all of boxing wants to see, and it’s one of those 50-50 affairs where it’s almost impossible to pick a clearcut winner.
To get to that fight, IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) only needs to defeat his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev on June 20, which should be light work for given the advanced age and lack of power of the 38-year-old Bulgarian.
Fury still needs to beat Wilder
On the other side, Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) with the way he’s invented himself as a huge 270+ lb slugger, who isn’t afraid to rough up his opponents, needs to beat former WBC champion Deontay Wilder in July in their trilogy match. It should be a simple task as well for Fury, as long as he doesn’t get caught by one Wilder’s big right hands.
What we don’t know about Wilder is whether he’ll improve before he faces Fury in their third fight in July. Wilder could be getting a new trainer in Joe Goosen, according to Randy Gordon of SiriusXM. He says Goosen “hinted at that” when he spoke to him last Monday on his show. Presumably, Goosen would be replacing Mark Breland as Wilder’s coach to help him prepare for his next fight with Fury.
At this point, Wilder would be dramatically improved with almost any new trainer, as he’s clearly not learning with his current trainers. Goosen has the experience as a trainer to try and help Wilder. Whether that would be enough for Wilder to defeat Fury in the third fight is the big question.
Can Fury beat Wilder with the same gameplan?
What Wilder has going for him is he knows that Fury could try the same game plan as the second fight by going straight at him and trying to use his size to win. If not that, then Fury will go back to the defensive style that he used in the first Wilder fight, and it might not work for him. Using the same game plan as in the last fight with Wilder might not work for Fury.
If he assumes Wilder is going to back up against the ropes again, he could be in for a rude awakening. Any trainer worth their salt will make sure Wilder doesn’t back up against the ropes again as he did repeatedly in his February 22 rematch with Fury. Likewise, Wilder will be watching for Fury’s illegal rabbit punches that he used repeatedly in their last fight to hurt him.
Additionally, Fury’s gloves will closely be monitored by the referee to ensure they don’t slip off like they did in their first fight. The referee should have noticed that Fury’s left glove was slipping off and fixed the problem.
If Fury is going to beat Wilder again, he’s going to have to do it the old fashioned way by just beating him without any tricks.
Assuming that Joshua and Fury both win their next fights, we’ll see them facing each other in December in a MASSIVE fight in the UK or perhaps Saudi Arabia. Fury wants the fight to be staged in the UK, which Joshua won’t have a problem with. Maybe his promoter Eddie Hearn will, but Joshua will obviously want the fight to be staged in front of his British fans in the UK.
Who wins between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury?
“With this version of Joshua. He did look fragile in his last fight, but he did make a complete transition to a different fighter, a boxer, completely,” said Atlas on THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas.
“He was like someone that came out of a molecular chamber. And he looked different and fought differently in every way, but there was some fragility. Does he get better from that fight with having it under his best? Yes, he should,” said Atlas in talking about Joshua’s rematch with Ruiz.
“How much better? I don’t know. I would favor Fury, but the ability of Joshua to box. Now the tables would kind of be reversed. They would kind of be like Wilder fighting Fury the first time. Now Fury would be in the position of fighting Wilder.
“Fury would be. He’s only had one fight under his belt with this different kind of mindset, and different kind of style,” said Atlas on Fury’s last fight against Wilder in which he came out ultra-aggressive and looked to slug from the start of the fight,” said Atlas.
It’s going to be a lot harder for Fury to try and use the same tricks against Joshua that he did against Wilder because he’s a much better boxer with a superior skill-set.
With the way Joshua is fighting like Wladimir Klitschko now, Fury will struggle badly if he tries to out-slick him in the center of the ring. What is more, if Fury attempts to bull Joshua to the ropes by clubbing him with shots behind the head like he did against Wilder, it might not work. Joshua will likely weigh in the 240s, and he’ll be too strong for the 270+ lb Fury to shove him into the ropes to manhandle him.
Joshua can beat Fury with his new fighting style?
“It would be very interesting because he would be the hunter, and he would be the guy, the pursuer,” Atlas said on his belief Fury would be going after Joshua. “He’d be the guy that would be chasing and going after, and Joshua would be doing what Fury did with Wilder the first fight. Boxing and keeping him off balance pot-shotting.
“Winning the fight until he got caught [by Wilder], and Joshua is in the position where if he doesn’t get caught, he can win with that style. It can be a difficult style. Not so fast to jump and say ‘just Fury.’ Yeah, I’d favor him because of his confidence and he knows how to win. He knows how to come up with the right ideas, and he knows how to win and come up with something special.
“It would be the side to him that Joshua could keep him off balance and potshot him and get to the finish like or Fury could track him down better than Ruiz did, much better than Ruiz did. Ruiz at whatever weight he was, he wasn’t capable of pulling the trigger. He wasn’t capable of carrying the water,” said Atlas in talking about Ruiz being too slow due to the excess weight he was carrying to cut off the ring on Joshua.
There’s a very good chance that Joshua gets the better of Fury both on the inside and the outside. Fury doesn’t possess a good enough jab to match Joshua’s power-jab, and his inside game isn’t strong enough to match AJ in that areas as well. Joshua possesses an uppercut that he uses at close range, and it’s a devastating weapon.