By Scott Gilfoid: British heavyweight champion Hughie Fury (21-2, 11 KOs) and unbeaten world level contender Joe Joyce (7-0, 7 KOs) have reportedly agreed to put off their fight due to Hughie suffering an injury. The British Boxing Board of Control [BBofC] ordered Hughie to defend his domestic level heavyweight title against Joyce in his next fight, but his injury will delay that from happening. There’s also some doubts among boxing fans whether Hughie will ever face a talent like Joyce. With Hughie having lost 2 out of his last 3 fights, the last thing he needs right now is another defeat.
It’ll be interesting to see just when Hughie is ready to defend his British title against the 6’6″ Joyce. Will Hughie and his team wait until Joyce is scheduled to to fight someone else before he finally is well enough to defend his British title. If Hughie’s injury is extended, Joyce may go away, and do other things with his career. Fighting for domestic level title is a dead end for fighters. It’s OK if a fighter is just starting out his career, but if he’s already a ranked world contender, there’s no point in getting stuck fighting for lower level straps that bring no real money.
Hughie already had his chance to fight for a world title last year against former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, and he was beaten by a one-sided 12 round majority decision in September 2017. It was an awful performance by the 6’6″ Hughie, who spent the entire fight running and holding to avoid getting worked over by Parker. Boxing News 24 had Parker winning by an 11 rounds to 1 score.
Hughie was awful from start to finish. In Hughie’s last fight against Kubrat Pulev, he was soundly beaten by a 12 round unanimous decision in an International Boxing Federation heavyweight world title eliminator on October 27 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The scores were 117-111, 118-110 and 115-113. The most accurate score of that bunch was the 118-110 score. Hughie fought well enough to lose the fight by a 10 rounds to 2 score. It was clear from watching that fight that Hughie lacks the talent to cut it at the upper levels of the heavyweight division. That was the second time in Fury’s career that he stepped it up against a world class heavyweight, and it was the second time that he was royally trounced. If Hughie can’t hang with beatable fighters like Parker and Pulev, then he needs to be at a lower level defending his British domestic level title for the time being.
The 24-year-old Hughie is young enough to where he could theoretically improve his game enough in the future for him to compete with the upper level heavyweights. But for Hughie to get to that level, he’s going to need to hit the weight room and work on his power. He’s too weak right now for him to cause problems against the top fighters. Pulev, 38, isn’t considered a hard puncher in the division, but he looked like a knockout artist next to Hughie.