By Scott Gilfoid: If things go as planned for the two British heavyweights, we could see a big clash between Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) and IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) this year. This is what Fury’s trainer Peter Fury wants to happen, and it’s clearly what Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn are both hoping will take place.
Fury, 6’9”, has a rematch against Wladimir Klitschko that he must win on July 9 for him to go forward for a fight against Joshua. I mean, Joshua and Fury can still fight each other even if they lose their next fights, but it would take away a lot of the interest in the fight by the British boxing public you would think.
Joshua must win his fight against the talented IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) this Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, UK. There’s no telling who’s going to win that fight. Most boxing experts see it as a 50-50 affair, and I can certainly agree to that. If the fight drags into the second half of the bout, then you have to favor Martin because he’s not carrying around as much luggage in the way of unnecessary bodybuilding muscle like the 6’6”, 244lb Joshua. Martin has been smart with his training by not falling in love with the weight room.
In contrast, Joshua has transformed a once lean 220lb physique into a 245lb body that would rival that of former Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger from his 1977 documentary Pumping Iron. It’s going to be very hard for Joshua to fight Martin once the fight goes past the 6th round because all that muscle that Joshua is lugging around will feel like weights on his back, and he could wear down and lose.
“We hope Joshua comes through Martin because it’s a massive fight for UK fans,” Peter Fury said to skysports.com. “If Tyson comes through his obligation and Anthony Joshua comes through Martin tomorrow, there’s no reason why we can’t get that fight on next. That’s the fight we are definitely interested it, providing both come through their obligations.”
With the way that Peter Fury wants to put Fury in with Joshua so quickly, it has my spider senses tingling. I get the feeling that there’s some worry on Peter’s part about how much longer Fury can keep winning before he suffers his first loss, and perhaps an embarrassing knockout loss. I’m just saying. It wouldn’t be good for Fury to get knocked into the stratosphere by one of the talents like the winner of the Joseph Parker vs. Carlos Takam, or someone like Deontay Wilder. These are all fighters that want to take Fury’s scalp straightway.
You can add WBA interim heavyweight champion Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz’s name to that list, because he would jump at the chance of getting in the ring with the slapping Fury. There would literally be nothing to keep the 6’4” southpaw Ortiz off him. It could be a real slaughter when/if that fight takes place. As such, I can definitely see why Peter is in such a hurry to put Fury in with Joshua. He’s literally chomping at the bit to make that fight happen, and I see it as a purely cash out move on Fury’s part.
If Fury can get a decent enough cut of the loot, he might wind up with a payday of $10 million or more from a fight against Joshua. I’m not sure what the British tax system is like, but my guess is Fury might end up with 25% of that amount after the other 75% is scooped up by taxes. That’s still good clean cash that Fury could live off. The taxes have got to be unreal when you make big cash like that. If Fury lived in the Cayman Islands or the Bahamas, I guess he would be able to keep more of his cash without being taxed to pieces.
“We definitely want it by the end of the year, Tyson is not wanting to sit down, we don’t want to wait, we want to keep moving forward, keep the momentum going,” said Peter Fury. “So we are very happy for that fight to take place, like I said we’ve got to get that fight out of the way in July and we will be looking forward to taking that fight next.”
It sounds great for Peter and Fury to have this vision thing in wanting to fight Joshua this year. However, there’s such a thing called reality that may get in the way of a Fury-Joshua fight taking place this year. If one or both of them get whipped in their next fights, then it would make sense for them to build up the fight by facing lesser fighters to make the fight big once again. They would need to hit reset on their careers if they lose to the likes of Martin and Klitschko.
I guess we’d see Joshua going back to fighting the likes of Gary Cornish and Kevin Johnson. For Fury’s part, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the ring with the like Martin Rogan and Nicolai Firtha. Fury would definitely have to take his career in reverse if Klitschko stretches him on July 9. Fury wouldn’t be able to turn around and start fighting some of the contenders in the heavyweight division to come back from the loss to Klitschko, because it would be too risky for him to make that move.
You have to remember that Fury was knocked on the seat of his pants by former IBF cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham in 2014. Since that fight, Fury has been fighting scrubs mostly with the exception of his fight against Klitschko last November, and that was against a totally shot looking Klitschko.
That was not the prime Klitschko we’d seen in the late 90s. If you look back at some of Wladimir’s early fights from the 90s, there’s no way you can picture Fury being able to hang with that version of Wladimir. He was simply too good back then. Fury would have been lucky to make it to the 2nd round. I could see him getting knocked out like Derrick Jefferson did by Wladimir in their fight in 2001. Man, Wladimir was a really sold fighter back then. It’s too bad he got old and turned into what we saw last November against Fury. It was like watching a completely different fighter than the one that took apart Jefferson.
Fury, 27, will be getting home country advantage against Wladimir by facing him in Manchester, UK on July 9. That might in theory help Fury win the fight if it goes to the scorecards, but I have a feeling that Wladimir is going to be coming into the fight focused on knocking Fury clean out. Wladimir realizes now that he’s going to neeed to throw a lot of right hands for him to win that fight.
The thing is even if Wladimir lands only 10 percent of his right hands, that should be more than enough for him to knock Fury out if he throws 500 punches. I can’t see Fury being able to take 50 hard head shots from Wladimir’s searing right hands. Fury would be lucky if he can take four or five hard right hands to the head. But if Wladimir is able to land 50 very, very hard right hands to the head of Fury, I could see Fury flopping around on the canvas like a fish out of water on July 9.
The referee will have to stop the fight at some point in order to save Fury from getting seriously hurt. We saw how Wladimir was able to knock Alexander Povetkin down four times in their fight in 2013, and Povetkin arguably has a better chin than Fury.
Joshua is in the same boat as Fury. Joshua has a very tough fight against the big punching southpaw Charles Martin this Saturday night, and that’s a fight that Joshua could very lose if he doesn’t fight with some self-control and skills. Being a counter puncher, southpaw and the visiting fighter, Martin has a big advantage in this fight. Martin is going to be able to land punches from the left side that Joshua hasn’t had to deal with in the past.
Martin will make Joshua pay for every mistake he makes in the ring on Saturday night. Joshua is going to be fighting with a lot of energy due to the screaming from his fans, and that’s going to make him fight without thinking. The last thing you want to do is fight harder because your fans are cheering you, because they’ll whip you into a mindless frenzy and send you into a trap. Martin won’t be motivated to lose his head because of the fan because they won’t be cheering him. As such, I see Martin having a clear advantage in this fight as the visiting fighter.
If Martin can smash Joshua, then it could be him that faces the winner of the Klitschko-Fury 2 fight. That would mean big money for Martin, especially if he faces Fury in a stadium fight in the UK this year. We’re talking retirement money for Martin if he gets the Fury fight.