Fury targeting Joe Louis’ record of 25 title defenses
By Tim Royner: Tyson Fury has set a huge goal for himself to break former heavyweight world champion Joe Louis’ 68-year-old record of 25 successful title defenses. Fury, 29, believes he can break Louis’ record if he captures a world title heavyweight title, and then defends it three times per year for the next 10 years for him to surpass it with 26 defenses.
Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) is basically planning on doing what Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has been saying Anthony Joshua will do by holding down the heavyweight titles for 10 consecutive years without losing. For Joshua, it would seem unlikely that he’ll be able to achieve Hearn’s vision because he’s looked vulnerable in his title defenses against Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam.
Louis (66-3, 52 KOs) held his heavyweight title for 11 consecutive years from 1939 to 1950. Joshua has been a world champion for just two years since beating Charles Martin by a 2nd round knockout in April 2016. Joshua has made 4 successful defenses since becoming a champion. Joshua will need to make 22 more successful title defenses for him to break Louis’ record. With Joshua only fighting twice a year, it’s going to take him another 11 years to break Louis’ record. Barring any injuries, Joshua will be 39-years-old by the time he breaks Louis’ record.
“You all need to know my plan now,” Fury said on his social media site. “I just set myself a goal of beating the great Joe Louis’ record of 25 title defenses. Wladimir Klitschko almost beat Joe Louis’ record until I beat him. I stopped him from equaling the great Louis’ record. So, I’ve got 25 title defenses to beat in the next 10 years,” Fury said.
Fury has a lot to prove to the boxing world, because many of the fans feel he’s just a flash in the pan. Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko to capture his heavyweight titles in 2015, and then his life spun out of control and he never defended the belts. For Fury to break Louis’ record, he needs to stay in shape in between fights. Fury has a tendency to eat and get out of shape between fights. He can’t do that if he’s serious about wanting to break Louis’ record of 25 title defenses.
Louis wasn’t letting himself get out of shape in between fights during his heavyweight championship reign. He was staying busy with defending his title. That was back before heavyweight champions made huge money like they do today. Would Louis have been able to stay serious about his career if he had made the kind of money Joshua has made in his short career? I tend to doubt it. Louis wouldn’t need to fight three times per year if he was making the kind of money Joshua has during his short 5-year pro career.
”If I put three fights per year, I’ll beat it. So, it’s going to be a hard challenge, but I’ve never had a challenge I didn’t make,” Fury said. ”If anyone’s capable of doing it, I’m capable of doing it. That’s the word, longevity. That’s what I’m looking for. I ain’t no flash in the pan, and you’re all going to see it here exclusive. All comers, 26 title defenses,” Fury said.
It’s going to be hard for Fury to defeat Joshua. That’s going to be the toughest test for Fury. Likewise, getting past Deontay Wilder will be tough as well for Fury, because he’s a bigger puncher than Joshua and it only takes one big shot from him to knockout his opponents. Fury will need to be mentally and physically tough for him to hold onto a heavyweight title for 10 years without losing.
Fury still hasn’t made his comeback fight yet. The boxing fans keep hearing about Fury planning on coming back to the sport after 2 1/2 years of inactivity, but he’s still not scheduled a fight. Fury is expected to take it easy in 2018, and face marginal opposition while he slowly gets the rust out. Fury likely won’t take on a tough opponent until 2019. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is interested in making the Joshua-Fury fight as soon as possible. He doesn’t want to wait.