When 2020 initially began, many expected Anthony Joshua to face Deontay Wilder at some point. Tyson Fury cancelled those plans when he beat Wilder in a rematch in February via TKO. It was a moment the boxing world will never forget.
Wilder has since exercised his rematch clause and the two have a scheduled trilogy fight in October. With George Foreman backing up Wilder, would the results be different next time? Would the results have been different the second time around? Anthony Joshua believes Fury had it in him all along.
“I believed Tyson Fury could potentially do what he done,” Joshua stated to Sky Sports.
“I just felt like, Deontay Wilder is a formidable ex-champion and has a chance to come back, but I just knew that when he gets to the top level, it will be difficult, because it’s one thing getting there and it’s another thing staying there.”
Prior to the bout, Wilder (42-1-1) had not lost a fight since his pro debut in 2008. “The Bronze Bomber” has 41 wins via knockout, something he takes pride in. In fact he has stated before he only needs one punch to take someone out. He was not able to do so against Fury (30-0-1) after almost taking him out in the twelfth round of their first fight.
Is Wilder’s knockout power a crutch as well as a gift? According to Joshua (23-1), that may be the case.
“We’ve seen in some of his (Wilder’s) fights, it’s been difficult for him and then he lands his punch and he’s been victorious, but I always believe that when you go to war, you can’t have one weapon in your arsenal, which was his right hand,” Joshua went on to say.
“Once that was taken away from him, which Tyson Fury did, I’m not going to go into tactics, but he was able to annihilate Deontay Wilder and expose him for some of his weaknesses.”
Joshua is currently set to fight Kubrat Pulev for the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Titles. Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn believes there is a cause for Fury to pass by Wilder and go straight for a bout with Joshua. That could be a result of money or the overall need for the fight. Both Joshua and Fury also have challenges coming at all fronts, as the heavyweight title scene has taken shape over the last two years.
As far as a flaw in Wilder’s game plan that Joshua can see him improving on, “AJ” had the perfect analysis.
“He doesn’t know how to flow and move side to side, and move back and control the fighter,” Josua said. “When Tyson Fury was edging forward, on back foot balance, Deontay Wilder was struggling to move forward with his right hand.”
Due to the coronavirus situation, everything is being pushed back. If the boxing world wants to get Joshua-Fury going right away, now may be the chance.