It’s the bout that everyone wants to see. The parties of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are attempting to work their way towards a blockbuster duel that will pit the two leading heavyweights of the world against each other for the first time.
It is expected that the bout will unify the divisions, with Joshua putting forward his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles and Fury his WBC heavyweight title. The terms of the deal have yet to be concluded, but it has not prevented a war of words breaking out between the two fighters. Both boxers are in the prime of their respective careers and will know the significance of the duel.
Fury has been installed as the leading contender in the boxing betting odds, although Joshua has only been defeated once in his career. Fury will carry an unbeaten record into the event, and will be confident of overcoming his compatriot.
It has been over a year since the 32-year-old has been in action when he overcame Deontay Wilder with an outstanding performance. He atoned for a controversial draw when the two fighters met in Los Angeles in December 2018. The consensus believed that Fury had won the first bout comfortably, only to be denied by the judges. Fury made no mistake second time around, knocking out the American in the seventh round.
The Manchester-born fighter has had plenty of time to dwell on his success, but he has been accustomed to breaks in the past. After a positive drugs’ test, Fury endured a three-year absence from the sport, but returned at the peak of his powers. His ability to flick between on and off mode has been extremely impressive, gearing himself back into fighting shape in short periods of time.
Of the two boxers, Fury has a more impressive record against established performers. Joshua should have had a clean record entering the bout, only to drop to his first defeat against Andy Ruiz Jr. It was a fight that he should never has lost, but he was able to bounce back with a clean performance to regain his heavyweight crowns in the subsequent rematch at the end of 2019. Joshua then dispatched Kubrat Pulev with relative ease in December 2020, knocking out the Bulgarian in the ninth round.
Both men have a victory over Wladimir Klitschko on their records, although Fury will argue that he faced the Ukrainian at a more prevalent stage of his career. Fury inflicted the first defeats of Otto Walin’s and Wilder’s careers since his return to the ring. The Manchester-born fighter always seems to rise to the occasion under the spotlight. He relishes the grand stage and would love nothing more to sink his rival to be known as the greatest heavyweight boxer of the era.
Joshua is more polished in his work ethic and style in the ring. The defeat against Ruiz Jr may have been a blessing in disguise as may have been resting on his laurels before his loss. Whether he has the hunger of Fury remains to be seen, which could be the decisive factor in the bout.