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Fury: ‘I have more respect for Deontay Wilder than Anthony Joshua’

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder

By Charles Brun: Tyson Fury says he’s grown to respect Deontay Wilder more than fellow countryman Anthony Joshua, because the American fighter is willing to fight the best. Joshua, who holds the IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles, has failed to do that, according to Fury. The British heavyweights are seemingly at odds with one another based on a lot of back and forth trash talking that they’ve done in recent years.

Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) will be defending his three titles this Saturday night against Andy Ruiz Jr. (32-1, 21 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York. If Joshua wins that fight, he will call out Fury and Wilder while in the ring and at the post-fight news conference. It’s predictable what will happen.

“I do have more respect for Deontay Wilder than Anthony Joshua because Wilder has proved to me that he’s willing to step up and fight the best, and he has done,” Fury said about Deontay to ESPN’s First Take. “He fought [Luis] Ortiz, everyone avoided Ortiz, didn’t want to fight him. He stepped into the ring with me. He’s been trying to fight Anthony Joshua for so long,” Fury said about Wilder.

Fury fighting a no name on June 15

Despite Fury’s talk about not respecting Joshua for his failure to fight the best, he’s not setting a good example of fighting little known Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) on June 15 on ESPN+ at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Schwarz, 24, isn’t highly respected by hardcore boxing fans in the U.S., and he’s not a household name with the casual fans as well.

“I proved it time and time again, going to Germany, coming to America, as an underdog to fight these champions in their own country,” said Fury in maintaining that he’s fought the best during his career. “For me, Anthony Joshua needs to prove himself on the world stage because he’s so happy fighting in England and he fought and beat [Wladimir] Klitschko after I destroyed him mentally, and had a war with him, a beaten fighter. So he needs to prove he’s willing to step up to the plate and fight the best,” said Fury.

Fury hardly went to “war” with Wladimir Klitschko in their fight in November 2015 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Fury is reinventing history by embellishing his credentials by characterizing his fight with the then past his prime 38-year-old Klitschko as a “war.” Fury’s fight with Wladimir was nowhere near a war, which was unfortunate. The fight was similar a track meet, as Fury ran around the ring, trying hard to elude Wladimir, and holding frequently. The contest wasn’t an exciting fight, but Fury did just enough to get the decision.

There are a lot of boxing fans who feel that Joshua does need to prove himself against a better class of opposition, but it’s going to require time, patience to get those fights made.

Tyson gives himself credit for fighting Wilder

“You know, there was a lot of talk of then two going back and forward, talking about fighting each other for over a year,” said Fury. “And it took me — a fat, bald-headed guy who had come back after three years out of the ring — to accept a challenge to defend my country, so to say. You know, what type of a world champion is this, when a guy who has been out of the ring for so long has to come back and defend the throne?” Fury said.

What made it easy for Fury to get the Wilder fight was he was willing to take the fight with him at a 50-50 split. Joshua hasn’t been open to giving Wilder parity in the negotiations. Joshua has been become popular in the UK after winning a disputed gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, and the British fans have been willing to watch his fight on Sky Box Office no matter who he faces. With the popularity that Joshua has attained, he’s gotten into the habit of taking the lion’s share of the revenue for his fights. Unfortunately, Joshua can’t get the matches that he wants against Wilder and Fury with him insisting on getting the bigger cut. As such, Joshua had no luck in getting Wilder and Fury to agree to fight him this year.

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