There can be no doubt that at the present time, the biggest fight in the world is Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury. Both men are at the top of their game after coming through some tough times over the past few years. Fury has fought a number of personal demons to get back to the top of the heavyweight tree. Joshua seems to have a renewed determination about him after his shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.
What this means is that it’s going to be difficult to choose who to back in this fight. The odds are likely to be close either way, perhaps with specific rounds only offering good value. In fact, it’s probably going to be a harder task to find a good-quality betting site than to choose who you’re going to back in the fight. Here are some of our thoughts in the lead-up.
It goes without saying that Fury is the more skilled boxer of the two. His footwork, combinations and evasion skills are absolutely top of the tier. Joshua is no slouch, of course, but compared to Fury, his pugilist skills are not quite as finely tuned. Of course, it doesn’t always depend on the fine-tuning of your boxing skills: sometimes, the other man just has a little bit more to offer in terms of athleticism and punching power.
This is something that Fury’s friend and fellow traveler Billy Joe Saunders found out. The sheer weight and power of Canelo Álvarez saw Saunders’ corner forced to throw in the towel. While Joshua is unlikely to have that much punching power, the fact remains that all it takes is one good shot and the fight can be over.
What is in Fury’s favor in this regard is that Deontay Wilder didn’t have the power to put Fury down in either of his two previous big-name fights. Wilder is arguably the biggest puncher in the division and Fury was able to withstand a number of big shots and get back up from what looked to be a knockout in their first fight.
Of course, Wilder’s poor technique means that he didn’t manage to wear Fury down with a large number of shots over the course of the fight. It goes without saying that Joshua is likely to be able to land more shots in the next fight alone than Wilder did across both of their bouts. Will he be able to wear Fury down to the point of being able to knock him out? We still feel that it is unlikely.
In terms of actually winning the bout, Fury just edges it in our opinion. While it’s by no means guaranteed that he will win, he is a slightly better boxer than Joshua. A knockout is unlikely to result in a win for Fury, but if it goes the distance, expect to see Fury’s hand held high.
Fury found his last fight against Wilder a lot easier than many expected. He dominated the American with his superior technical ability. The fight against Joshua won’t be that easy. Joshua may not have the one-punch knockout ability that Wilder has, but he does have far better technical ability. As he showed in his rematch against Ruiz, Joshua can fight tactically when necessary. Knowing that if he got into a slugfest with Ruiz he would lose again, he outboxed his opponent.
Joshua won’t be able to do that in August when he meets up with Fury in Saudi Arabia. If he tries to outbox Fury, the fight is only going to end one way: a points win for Fury. What Joshua needs to do is focus on his strengths. He is a better athlete than Fury – there’s no doubt about that – so he needs to try to keep the pace as high as possible. If he can tire Fury out, there is a chance that he can take advantage of this in the later rounds.
While a straight knockout for Joshua is unlikely, Fury showed in his match against Wilder that he can take a punch and get up from very big shots. A TKO is not outside the realms of possibility. If Joshua can tire Fury out at an early stage, in the later rounds he may be able to finish the fight before it goes the distance.
If Joshua can achieve this, he has a chance of winning. If it goes the distance, his chances are very slim. Joshua is without doubt one of the top three heavyweights in the world. The problem is that he will be facing the man who is probably the best on the planet at the moment. Whatever the outcome in August, there can be no doubt that this will be an extremely close fight.