Boxing: Anthony Joshua delivers devastating body shots
Two-time world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has told Anthony Joshua in no uncertain terms what to expect if the pair finally clash in the ring later this year. A unification bout between the two British fighters has been touted for some time, with Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn having repeatedly stated his intention to engineer an agreement as soon as possible.
Fury currently holds the WBC heavyweight belt while Joshua boasts the WBA, IBF and IBO editions of the world title, meaning that a clash would produce the first undisputed champion of the division since the days of Lennox Lewis.
It has been reported that a deal is close between both camps after Oleksandr Usyk, the mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBO belt, entered talks with Joe Joyce to fight for the organisation’s interim title, a move that would allow the Watford-born fighter to face Fury later this year.
Joshua revealed after his win over Kubrat Pulev in December that he is looking forward to the challenge of a mammoth unification bout, but Fury has suggested that he may come to regret his decision after the contest is over.
The ‘Gypsy King’ took to Twitter on Thursday to make his early prediction, claiming that Joshua could be in line for an early bath on fight night.
In a short video message, Fury said: “Yes! Just got off the phone from SugarHill Stewart [Fury’s trainer] in America.
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“We’re going to smash AJ. One round, two rounds, three rounds, done! Can’t wait.”
Fury’s claim is the latest of many regarding Joshua’s chances of winning the fight, with the 32-year-old using social media to taunt the former Olympic champion on a number of previous occasions.
Despite his confidence, Hearn, who is Joshua’s promoter, believes that his man will provide a much tougher test than Fury is expecting.
“I don’t think anyone can be 100 per cent confident about anyone winning a fight like this,” Hearn told Sky Sports earlier this week.
“They could fight 10 times and wouldn’t get 10 same results.
“I believe Joshua is the favourite in this fight. I know that, with the bookies, Fury is. But I see the improvements that Anthony makes and the desire that he has got.
“But I’ve written Fury off before – against Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder. He proved me wrong.
“I don’t believe he will prove me wrong this time. I believe our guy wins. But talk is cheap. We’ve got to roll the dice and find out.”
Hearn also stressed that the fight is likely to take place in 2021 despite the obstacles posed by Usyk and Fury’s former opponent Deontay Wilder, who previously announced that he may invoke a clause mandating a third bout between the pair.
Fury knocked out the American in February last year, producing a relentless performance after he was forced to settle for a draw in their first fight.
“It’s a must for both guys,” added Hearn. “I’m really confident it will happen. We’ve been here before. Amir Khan vs Kell Brook? This is bigger, much bigger.
“When a fight of this magnitude presents itself and you’ve got two guys that want it, generally we will see it.
“I can’t wait to see AJ crowned undisputed. This year he will make it happen.”
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