Warren says Tyson Fury is bigger attraction than Anthony Joshua
By Trevor McIntyre: British promoter Frank Warren says Tyson Fury has now become a bigger attraction than IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. The only way of knowing whether that’s the case is for Fury to become a big pay-per-view star in the UK the way Joshua currently is doing with him fighting on Sky Box Office PPV, and filling large stadiums with eager boxing fans paying to see him beat up on guys like Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker and Carlos Takam.
Fury’s popularity has skyrocketed since his controversial 12 round draw against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (40-0-1 39 KOs) last month on December 1 on SHOWTIME PPV at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
“I think he’s now a bigger attraction than Anthony Joshua,” Warren said about Fury to the BBC Sport.
Being popular is obviously a great thing for the 6’9″ Fury, but if he keeps getting dropped by Wilder, he’s probably not going to beat in the rematch. Fury was knocked down twice by Wilder in the championship rounds, and he was lucky the fight wasn’t stopped in the twelfth. Fury looked like he was unconscious after getting hit by two sledgehammer blows form the 6’7″ Wilder.
You hate to second guess referees, but the decision making by referee Jack Reiss in giving Fury a count was a strange one. Fury looked to be unconscious after being knocked down in the final round. After the knockdown, Reiss turned to Wilder and spent a second making sure he was in his neutral corner before he started the count. That delay may have saved Fury. If Reiss had turned to Fury to start counting, he would have likely would given up counting and halted the fight when he saw that he wasn’t going to wake up quickly. Fury was the one that was hurt in the fight, and put down twice. You don’t win fights like that. If the rematch is the same, Fury will probably lose. Wilder says he wants to make sure that if he drops Fury in the rematch, he won’t be getting up. Fury’s popularity will plummet off the cliff if he’s knocked out by Wilder in the rematch.
“He seems to have reached a certain point in his career now where you can see what the flaws are,” Warren said about Joshua. “He’s vulnerable, he’s wobbled in most of his fights. Joshua doesn’t even want to fight him because I think he knows he’ll get beat.”
Joshua obviously wants to fight Fury, but he can’t do much with him potentially facing Wilder in a rematch. Further, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn seems to be mainly interested right now in matching him against his own Matchroom Boxing stable fighters. Although Hearn does a lot of talking about wanting to match Joshua against Wilder, it appears to some boxing fans that he’s just doing this to make people think that he’s not ducking the American. Hearn’s face seems to brighten up and become animated whenever he talks about matching Joshua against his Matchroom heavyweights Dillian Whyte and Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller. Hearn look like a little kid that just got the present that he wanted each time he talks of making a fight between Joshua and Whyte or Miller. It’s painfully obvious that Hearn’s focus is on matching Joshua against Miller and Whyte rather than Wilder or Fury.
The World Boxing Council has already sanctioned the rematch between Wilder and Fury. Now it’s up to those two heavyweights to decide whether they want to negotiate a rematch. The negotiations for the December 1 Wilder vs. Fury fight were done quickly. It’s possible that the rematch will be done fast as well unless Fury decides that he deserves more than what he received last time. If Fury asks for too big of a split, then it could make putting the fight together difficult or maybe even impossible.
It might better off for Fury to forget about a rematch with Wilder, and instead treat his draw like it was a win. This might be as good as it gets for Fury. Right now, Fury’s draw has been glorified by his boxing fans, and treated as a win, even though most referees would likely stopped the fight in the 12th after he hit the deck after getting hit by a 1-2 combination from Deontay. If Fury walks away now from his rivalry with Wilder, he doesn’t have to worry about potentially being knocked out in the rematch. Fury can use the draw as a win, and push for a fight against Joshua for a cash out.
If Fury faces someone good with power like Dillian Whyte, Luis Ortiz, Adam Kownacki or Jarrell Miller, he could get knocked down just like he was in the Wilder fight. The difference is that if Fury is dropped hard like he was in round twelve, he won’t be able to count on the referee giving him a count while he’s out cold. Unless Fury gets lucky with Reiss working his fights from now on in order to give him counts when he’s knocked cold, it’s likely not going to go well for him the next time he faces a heavyweight with punching power that can tap his chin with something big.