In what seems like forever, we may finally have a chance at another undisputed heavyweight champion. Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) vs Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is on the fast track to take place in perhaps May or June of this year. Fury has not fought since February of last year, while Joshua fought just two months ago. Between contract issues, COVID, locations, and financial issues; it has been tough to make huge fights happen in recent months. The projected trilogy fight between Fury and Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) has been an ongoing saga for months and at this point seems like the door is closed until one becomes the mandatory for the other again. If the heavyweight battle does take place, there is rumor of it being a two-fight negotiation. Two main issues holding this fight back include the arbitration hearing with Wilder and the fact Usyk (18-0, 13 KO) is the WBO mandatory. However, both sides feel confident they can overcome these obstacles. Let’s look at both sides of the tape and how this monster fight of 2021 shapes up.
First up is Tyson Fury who has one of the greatest comeback stories I can think of in my time. The transformation in such a short time and then being able to conquer the reigning WBC champion was more than remarkable. Fury plans to come out the same way as his last two fights and brawl early and often. He plans on taking Joshua down in just three rounds. Always confident but able to back it up. He plans to walk AJ down, tire him out, and finish him in quick fashion. With the fight potentially only months away I doubt there will be room for a warm up and It intrigues me to see if once again there may be some ring rust, by being out of the ring for almost a year and a half at that point. However, ring rust aside Fury AKA “the Gypsy King” moves around better than any other present heavyweight. His in and out movements, with defensive footwork and countering is some what mesmerizing to watch. Fury is currently lining up some power punchers to prepare for the Joshua fight. Names range from Efe Ajagba, Tony Yoka, Martin Bakole, and Apti Davtaev to Jared Anderson and Raphael Akpejiori. All who could help prepare Fury in several ways. Overall, I think Fury must remain confident but not overzealous and utilize his skills of countering, footwork, and jabs to control this fight. If he can do that, then he has it in the bag.
On the other side of the ring is Anthony Joshua who once again knocked his opponent out in December at Wembley. Joshua has shown great composure since losing the belts not long ago and has continued to work on his skills. Many fans have called his movement and punches robot like and he gives away what his next move is. He slimmed down from being at one-point 254lbs to coming into his last fight at 240lbs. Joshua is great at placing punches and taking the fight in stride. He doesn’t overextend himself and tries to find an opening only when safe. The one thing many feel, including Mike Tyson, that he needs to work on is not telegraphing that next punch. If he does that vs Fury, then its going to be a problem. AJ also has some opponents lined up to help prepare for the summer battle. Sparring partners range from Ivan Dychko, Robert Helenius, and Otto Wallin (a former Fury opponent) to Hughie Fury and David Price. All are tall strong fighters that may give a glimpse into what Joshua will be going up against. AJ will surely have one thing on his side and that is activity. If Joshua can limit mistakes and not show punches, then we have a true undisputed battle on our hands.
Venue has been one of the main topics for this monster matchup. Currently there are a lot of restrictions in the U.K. due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, no fans can be at most of the matches. At this point there are two options. One they hope restrictions are lifted and fans can be in at some capacity by May or June. If this is not feasible, then they will look to other countries such as America, Singapore, Dubai, Qatar, or China. The other ingredient tied into venue, is the revenue because each fighter has been rumoured to make around $100 million. The less fans, then the harder this is to accomplish.
The last seen undisputed heavyweight was Lennox Lewis and 2021 gives us a real chance at seeing it happen again. Both men possess skills to win them this fight. Joshua must continuously move and jab the entire fight, with hopes of eventually countering or tiring his opponent out. Fury will use footwork and countering of his own to stalk AJ throughout the fight. This truly is a 50/50 affair and could see it go either way. Who makes a mistake first and will ring activity play any part are my main questions? Regardless of the outcome I think this could be an instant classic, as 2021 could truly be the year of the heavyweights.
Who do you think will win this heavyweight clash?
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