The great British heavyweight clash between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua is inevitable. Giulio Magliano breaks down the boxing politics surrounding the two fighters and looks ahead to a fight to decide who the best heavyweight in the world is.
Tyson Fury – Return of the Gypsy King
In April 2018, Tyson Fury announced his comeback journey to return in the ring and regain the heavyweight throne after winning the unified titles against Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015. After two comeback fights, he begged his promoter Frank Warren to make the Wilder fight before 2018.
After that fight was announced, Joshua’s road to undisputed has been put on a standstill and lost credibility as a champion too. Wilder and Fury’s first fight ended in a controversial draw, and public had to wait more than a year for the second bout.
In February 2020 came the rematch that was titled “Unfinished Business” between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, which was heavily favoured towards Wilder as many portrayed him as the hardest hitting heavyweight of all time.
Fury defeated Wilder in the seventh round astonishingly, leaving many fans and experts stunned as we considered him the “box and move” sort of fighter and not the clinical finisher like in that fight. He is currently the best active Heavyweight around according to The Ring.
Anthony Joshua – AJ’s first setback quickly squashed
In that time, Joshua announced his U.S. debut in Madison Square Garden against Andy Ruiz Jr. The fight was one of the most memorable moments in sporting history, but it did not go in Joshua’s favour as Ruiz came in as a 12/1 underdog and caused one of the biggest heavyweight upsets in Boxing history finishing Joshua in the seventh round via TKO.
The long-awaited rematch happened for the first time in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, and the entire world was curious what the two boxers learned from their first fight. Joshua put in a Boxing masterclass by winning every single round and stunning him a couple times, making him the 4th Heavyweight champion to regain his titles after a loss.
Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua – Tale of the Tape
This is one of the best matchups you can make in the boxing world. Both fighters are British and both fighters hold all the heavyweight belts, making this the biggest heavyweight fight in British Boxing history.
- Nationality: British
- Born: Manchester
- Height: 6’9
- Reach: 85’
- Total Fights: 31
- Record: 30-0-1 (21 KO’s)
Fury’s style is unique in the division. Being 6ft 9in, it is difficult to move around carrying all that weight, but with his slim legs he can move around the ring quickly and keep the distance with his long reaching jab. Another idiosyncratic trait of his is his unpredictability to confuse his opponent and leaving them without a fixed game plan on how to win against him.
- Nationality: British
- Born: Watford
- Height: 6’6
- Reach: 82’
- Total Fights: 24
- Record: 23-1 (21 KO’s)
Joshua fights more of an aggressive style, coming forward and wanting to annihilate fighters as quick as possible with his fast combinations and overwhelming power. This is one of the hardest fights to predict, as neither of them have anyone with a similar style or level of athleticism.
Fury can give Joshua some problems with his unpredictability and his jab, giving him hard angles to work with and the inability to reach Fury. However, I think that Joshua can do a lot of damage on the inside by working on the body and slowing his legs down.
They have already agreed the financial side of the fight it being a 50/50 split and the rematch being a 60/40 split. However, the rest still depends on how Fury and Joshua will perform in their upcoming fights! Joshua has to face Kubrat Pulev, who is being promoted by TopRank (like Fury) and the CEO Bob Arum is confident that Pulev will get the job done. The vast majority see Joshua as a favourite and could be decided within the first six rounds.
Fury still has an ongoing case with the Wilder Trilogy, and Wilder’s team is going as far as bringing Fury to court if he does not take the Trilogy fight. Fury fought Agit Kabayel in a voluntary defence but got cancelled once Wilder came out and gave his explanation.
Joshua’s promoter and Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing, Eddie Hearn, and Bob Arum have been clashing with each other as to who the best Heavyweight in the world is. Whilst Fury’s wins over Klitschko and Wilder impress Hearn, he believes the Gypsy King hasn’t fought the same number of elite level fighters back-to-back like Joshua such as Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz Jr., Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam.
Bob Arum, on the other hand, insulted Eddie Hearn by saying “he doesn’t know D**k about Boxing in America” and thinks Joshua is an overrated heavyweight who lost the titles against a “chubby Mexican”.
Matchroom and TopRank don’t have the worst of relationships as they have negotiated deals in the past, but the undisputed heavyweight clash could be a significantly tougher task to negotiate and would require sacrifices on both of their behalves to secure the deal.
The broadcasting rights is going to be a difficult situation to overcome because Tyson Fury also has an exclusive deal with BT Sport and ESPN, whereas Joshua has an exclusive deal with Sky. If the fight were to take place in the US or in the UK, the promoters will have to decide whether to stage the fight on BT or on Sky Box Office.
However, there have been exceptions where broadcasters have shared the rights for particular pay-per-views such as Mayweather vs Pacquiao or Wilder vs Fury II because their global reach. It all just depends on the relationship between the promoters and broadcasters, and also if the fight is big enough to stage on two separate platforms, which is common sense for a fight of this magnitude.
That being said, there are many terms and conditions that fighters and promoters have to agree on like rematch clauses, ring walks, international TV rights, rehydration clauses, drug testing, location, sanctioning fees, costs, etc.
Although it is pretty clear that both champions want to fight each other, there are still many terms that need to be discussed between the two teams, and I remain optimistic that they can agree for 2021 and put everything on the line to give the fans the biggest heavyweight fight since Lewis vs Tyson.
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