Fighting Words: What Does Anthony Joshua Really Think Of Tyson Fury?
Everything appeared civil between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury when they crossed paths while on vacation not that long ago. They encouraged one another to win their upcoming fights. With an agreement (in principle) to fight one another in 2021, however, mind games must be played.
Joshua (23-1) spoke to Sky Sports regarding the WBC and lineal Heavyweight Champion in Fury (30-0-1). The WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion didn’t hold back when he talked about the “lack of skills” Fury possesses.
“What have you seen from Fury? A couple of feints? Moving around? What have you seen that makes him seem so intimidating? Speed? If the sport is lacking so much talent then all you need is feints and movement to be classed as a great of this generation…With hard work, motivation and studying you can overcome that,” Joshua stated.
After beating Wladimir Klitschko for the lineal title in 2015, Fury had to give up the title following failed drug tests, addition, and depression. He came back and won two fights before facing Deontay Wilder in December 2018. They fought to a draw after Fury got up from a twelfth-round knockout blow by Wilder. He would dominate a Tom Schwartz fight before facing Otto Wallin last September. The “Gypsy King” struggled and almost lost a bout that required over 47 stitches to the area above his eye.
Fury would beat Wilder in a rematch in February, controlling all aspects of the bout. Knocking him down multiple times, Fury chased after Wilder until the latter’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh. Joshua is still not impressed with his overall progress.
“So what do people see in Fury that is so fearsome, intimidating, that he can’t be touched at the top level? I take him as a serious challenger, of course,” Joshua ended up saying. “But resume? It’s taken him a long time to grow. His fight with Wladimir Klitschko was his first real challenge and he overcame it, but it took him eight years to build his experience and confidence. Then he had two years out and fought Deontay Wilder.”
Joshua won the IBF Heavyweight Title from Charles Marin in 2016. He would then beat Klitschko for the vacant WBA and IBO belts, finally taking the WBO belt from Joseph Parker. The 30-year-old lost to Andy Ruiz Jr. for the titles last June but rebounded in December in Saudi Arabia.
Fury is expected to face off against Wilder in a trilogy bout in December. Fury must also deal with Dillian Whyte, the interim WBC Heavyweight Champion. It was confirmed by the WBC Whyte would get a shot at Fury or Wilder before Joshua. Joshua is scheduled to face mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev sometime in November.
While Fury has fought longer, Joshua believes Fury still has a lot more to prove.
“He hasn’t been in the deep end for long enough to show me that he can swim there for a long time,” said Joshua. “You have to continually prove that you belong there. You don’t just come there once or twice.
“For me as a fighter, that’s how you gain my respect.”