Anthony Joshua is ‘too wary of getting hit’ to win £150m showdown with Tyson Fury says Joe Joyce as Oleksandr Usyk deal moves closer
Joe Joyce has backed Tyson Fury to beat Anthony Joshua when they finally meet in their £150million heavyweight showdown this year.
Although talks are still ongoing and nothing has yet been confirmed, the two best heavyweights on the planet are nearing a deal to compete for the undisputed world heavyweight championship which could be worth £75million each.
In order to make it happen, Joyce is reportedly closing in on a fight with Oleksandr Usyk for the interim WBO title as the Ukrainian’s mandatory status for Joshua’s full title was becoming an issue.
However, with the sanctioning board willing to commission an ‘interim’ belt, it leaves Joshua free to face ‘The Gypsy King’ for all of the belts.
Joyce, who stopped Daniel Dubois in November, has sparred both men during his lengthy and successful career and believes Fury has the advantage.
The 35-year-old told the Evening Standard: “I’m going with Fury because of his performances and the way he’s come back from his lowest point to beat Deontay Wilder for the WBC.
“I think that while Joshua’s picked himself up since losing to Andy Ruiz Jr, he’s kind of been a bit too negative in his style, and been a bit wary of the shots coming back at him.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a 50-50 fight, Joshua has got great strength, hand speed, dedication and motivation, and he’s very competitive. With Fury, you know he is mentally very strong, tactically as well.
“He’s unorthodox and hard to hit, he’s fast and he’s a bigger guy with the longer reach. For me, he has the edge.”
Joshua was handed his first professional defeat almost two years ago by Andy Ruiz Jr in a seismic upset which drastically altered the heavyweight landscape.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medallist was dropped multiple times at Madison Square Garden in New York of June 2019 and questions remain about his durability.
It is unlikely those questions are to be asked of Fury as, despite hitting the deck on multiple occasions throughout his career, seems to grow stronger when the pressure and the adversity rises.
Joyce has never been down as an amateur or a professional and believes he is ready for both men right now, although he believes the Usyk fight is one he cannot overlook.
“I think I’m ready for them both,” he added. “They’re both at the top of their game.
“I’d make sure I have a great training camp and get my tactics right but I’m confident of my ability. I’ve sparred them both, we had competitive spars and it’ll be the same on fight night just with a lot more at stake.
“If I get through Usyk and make that, and beat him, I’ve got the potential to fight the winner of AJ-Fury, which is the biggest fight. That’s of belts on the line.”