Tyson Fury must beat Anthony Joshua to prove he’s #1 – David Haye

By Boxing News - 02/23/2020 - Comments

By Dean Berman: Tyson Fury’s win over Deontay Wilder may have proven to some fans that he’s the #1 heavyweight in the world, but not all of them, according to David Haye. The former two-division world champion says Anthony Joshua still looms out there as the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight unified champion, and could be a tough obstacle for ‘The Gypsy King’ to get passed.

For Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) to stake his claim as the top fighter in the division, he MUST beat Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs). Haye claims that Joshua is a more well-rounded fighter than Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), and it might not be as simple for Fury to bum rush all night long.

Joshua will be studying Fury’s performance

“He sure did it the way he set it up, the way that he was relaxed as well,” said Haye to BT Sport Boxing on Fury. “And he looked like he could do another 20 rounds. He wasn’t puffing too heavy, and his legs were fast. Everything was in complete control.

“Although he was being more aggressive and throwing more punches than he usually does, he did it in a calm manner. As he said before, it’s going to be educated pressure. It was so calculated, and on the money in every department. What could Anthony Joshua take from this performance to go, ‘Okay, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that? I’m confident,'” said Haye.

The main flaw that Joshua will spot in Fury’s game from the Wilder fight is the fact that he was going straight ahead, and was there to be hit. Wilder looked too light and wasn’t letting his hands go in the way that he needed to.

Fury was manhandling Wilder when he would get inside, and the Bronze Bomber didn’t possess the physical strength to deal with that. Surprisingly, Wilder wasn’t fighting back during the clinches, and he was getting the worst of it.

Joshua-Fury is the fight to make

‘There’s not much he can take from this performance. There’s not much Deontay Wilder did successfully that you can kind of take the blueprint for. As you saw with Andy Ruiz, he came back,” said Haye about Joshua bouncing back from a loss to Ruiz. “When his back was against the wall, he performed outside of his skin and did exactly what he needed to do to have a shutout victory against a very tough durable guy.

“He needs to get into the right mindset. He’s in the right mindset now. Everyone has a bad night at the office, and he’s back on track now,” said Haye. “A fight between Fury and Anthony Joshua does NOT get any bigger. If Anthony Joshua wants to prove to the world that he’ s number one, then there’s only one fight to take. The same thing for Fury.

If he wants to prove he’s number one, he believes he’s done it tonight, and many people will believe that he has, but it’s still someone that has the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, so there’s a little bit of work left,” said Haye.

Boxing has been waiting since 2013 for Joshua and Fury to fight each other, but they’re probably going to need to wait another year. Fury has a rematch with Wilder in likely November, and Joshua has to face his two mandatory challengers in Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk.

Haye shouldn’t assume that Joshua will win his two mandatory defenses against those fighters, because he could very well lose to one of them. If that happens, then we’ll have a delay on Joshua facing Fury. Unfortunately, there won’t be a great deal of interest in a fight between Fury and Pulev or Usyk.

Haye: Fury is #1 heavyweight in boxing now

“If he wants titles to gather up before you can officially put the number one ranking up for yourself. On current form, you have to say it’s Fury. He’s never lost for starters, and he’s beaten by far the best opponent than anyone has fought. Deontay Wilder was the WBC champion. So he beat a long-reigning WBC champion, so I believe you’ve got to go with the guy that is unbeaten.

“That’s why I believe Anthony Joshua will want this fight because it’s the chance for him to get the official number one. He’s the number one in terms of him having the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, great. But you need to have that lineal and you need to become #1 or at least try to become number one. It’s so nice that we’ve got the British fighter because that makes it so much easier to make that fight [Joshua vs. Fury] happen,” said Haye.

Fury will be considered #1 by some fans, but a lot of them are going to withhold judgment until he faces Joshua. At that point, the real #1 heavyweight in the world will be revealed.

Wilder needs to come back strong in his rematch with Fury, and show that it was a bad night for him. He’ll need to throw punches in the rematch, and look to stop Fury from coming forward. Last night, Fury fought like he wasn’t afraid of Wilder’s right. One reason for that is he wasn’t throwing it that much.

Joshua more well-rounded than Deontay Wilder

“It’s a fight that everybody has to see and everyone wants to see, I’m sure. Tyson will be gagging for that one. I can tell you one thing. Anthony Joshua is significantly more well-rounded than Deontay Wilder is. He’s not that guy, and he’s not a one-trick pony.

“He can box, and he proved that last time against Andy Ruiz. He can box, and he can punch, and he can mix it up. It’s such a good fight. It’s a 50-50 fight if you look at the records. Maybe slightly edge it towards Fury, but you have to see it. This fight has to happen,” said Haye.

Joshua is definitely a far better-skilled fighter than Wilder, but so is Fury. AJ is likely going to continue to fight in the Wladimir Klitschko style that we saw from him in his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. That style at least will give him a chance of giving Fury problems, but it’s no guarantee of success. Fury already beat the real thing in Wladimir in 2015, and Joshua is just an imitation of his style now.

Joshua will need to be ready for Fury’s RABBIT punches

Fury’s game was pretty basic in beating Wilder last Saturday. In a nutshell, the 273-pound Fury walked the lighter 230-lb Wilder down each round and nailed him with a lot of punches that hit ‘The Bronze Bomber’ squarely in the back of the head. Even in the clinches, Fury was hitting Wilder with rabbit shots. You’d see Wilder respond occasionally after getting hit by Fury one of those shots. However, Wilder wasn’t nearly as effective at hitting him in the same spot in the back of the head.

Fury’s knockdown in round 3 was from a looping shot to the back of Wilder’s head. He continued to hit Wilder with rabbit punches after he got back up without the referee stepping in to warn or take points. In the 4th, Fury knocked Wilder down with a rabbit shot.

The referee waived the knockdown off.  In the 5 and 6th, Fury landed a number of huge punches to the back of Wilder’s head. If Joshua gets hit with those same shots, he’ll be finished. There’s no way of taking those punches effectively. Unless the referee is going to do his job of warning or penalizing Fury’s punches to the back of the head, Joshua won’t stand much of a chance.

YouTube video