By Jeff Aronow: Andre Ward says he can’t see a way for Anthony Joshua to defeat Tyson Fury right now with the way he’s fighting. The former two-division world champion ‘SOG’ Ward notes that Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) struggled in his two fights with Andy Ruiz Jr., and still failed to dominate even in victory in their rematch.
In Ward’s view, the heavyweight with the best shot at beating WBC champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) is Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), and just finished beating him.
Although Ward acknowledges that the 6’6″ Joshua has the size, but he fights like a smaller fighter. Joshua doesn’t fight the way that one would think he should with his type of physique.
Fury and IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua could be fighting soon if Wilder chooses to step aside to let them fight. Even if he doesn’t, we still likely see Joshua and Fury battle it out in the first quarter of 2021.
Ward can’t see Joshua beating Fury
“Anything can happen. This is the heavyweight division, but I can’t see this Anthony Joshua coming off the loss, even though he won the rematch with Andy Ruiz, he didn’t look dominant from the standpoint of control, physically imposing,” said Andre Ward to ESPN about Fury vs. Joshua.
“He’s a physically imposing heavyweight, but he moved around like he was the smaller man. That concerned me. The type of momentum that Tyson Fury has right now. I don’t see anybody beating him.
“I think the best guy and the fighter with the best chance to beat Tyson Fury is Deontay Wilder with that big right hand. Wilder would have to land that shot to get Fury out of three, but I just can’t see any scenario where Anthony Joshua beats Tyson Fury right now,” said Ward.
The Joshua that fans saw in his last two fights against Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) will be easy work for the 6’9″ Fury. Joshua doesn’t possess the chin, stamina and lacks the ring generalship to handle Fury. The only shot that Joshua has of beating Fury is if he can stun him with a perfectly placed power shot.
Joshua can punch with body hands, and that’ll give him a chance of beating Fury if he can land something hard. For example, the left hook that Joshua dropped Ruiz with in round three of their first fight might be too much for Fury.
Tim Bradley views Fury as unbeatable
“I’m on the same playing field as Andre Ward,” said Tim Bradley. “I don’t see anybody beating Tyson Fury, and I don’t see Joshua doing it. I think the fight will be interesting in the first half. You have to understand that Joshua is 6’6″, he’s a big guy and very athletic. Most of his work is at mid-range
“We saw against Andy Ruiz that he doesn’t like pressure,” said Bradley on Joshua. “After seeing Wilder get backed up by Tyson Fury, you’ve got t to understand that Tyson Fury can back up Joshua. That’s all he has to do to beat Joshua. So, I would pick Tyson Fury all day, seven days a week, and twice on Sunday to beat Anthony Joshua,” said Bradley.
If Fury can get through a second fight with Wilder using his pressure tactics, it’ll be interesting to see if that game plan works on Joshua as well. Joshua is probably going to have a great game plan to nullify the pressure that Fury puts on him.
As we saw in Joshua’s fight with Joseph Parker and his rematch with Ruiz, he’s hard to hit when he moves around the ring a lot. Fury will need to chase Joshua around the ring if he wants to land his hard clubbing shots on him because he’s not going to make it easy for him.
Fury will be hard to beat
“The biggest problems with Anthony Joshua is his chin as well as his conditioning,” said Bernardo Osuna. “When you look at sizing these two guys up, Fury is a better boxer than Anthony Joshua is. The biggest advantage Anthony Joshua has over Tyson Fury is, and he [Fury] just got dropped twice by the hardest puncher of our generation in Deontay Wilder.
“In the second fight, he was able to go out and take the fight to him. I think the blueprint is there for Tyson Fury against Joshua or Wilder. And I think Tyson Fury right now, focused and fit, is a tough man to beat,” said Osuna.
Right now, most boxing fans are assuming that Fury will continue to look as good as he did in his rematch with Wilder last February. All that can change if Wilder or Joshua lands one of their best shots on his Fury’s chin.
Barker leaning towards Fury to beat Joshua
“I just favor Fury in that, and I think it’s very close,” said Darren Barker to IFL TV in picking Tyson to beat Joshua. “The reason I say this is because of how destructive he was in his last fight [against Wilder]. I think the confidence he’ll take from that knowing that he cans stamp his authority, using his weight, fighting from the center of the ring, trusting his power.
“We know how good he is from the back-foot, how elusive he is, and how hard he is to cleanly tag. I think now it’s almost like a new and improved Fury, I think. He’s kind of in his unorthodox way the total package; I guess you can say. He has everything, doesn’t he? He’s very difficult to hit, great footwork for a big guy, he’s powerful, and he can wack and bully his opponents.
“He’s got a brilliant jab, and he’s got it all. AJ, he’s a well-rounded fighter. I would say he’s the bigger puncher of the two, and he’s technically sound. He’s a typical well-schooled fighter, isn’t he? He’s not someone that has been fighting for so long, and he’s not had a huge amateur background, even though he won the gold in the Olympics. I think he definitely has the talent,” said Barker.
The body punching that Darren Barker is talking about is something that Joshua will likely be using against Fury. Unlike Wilder, Joshua is good at following game plans. If he’s told to focus on Fury’s body by his trainer Rob McCracken, you can bet that’s where he’ll be attacking him.
Joshua needs to focus on Fury’s body
“He’s a typical textbook fighter, and that’s how he would have to approach the fight,” said Barker on Joshua. “I think he would need to throw plenty of jabs to the body. Whenever I fought someone that is elusive, a jab to the body is the perfect shot because they lean back and lean to the side, and the torso stays in the same position unless they move their feet as Fury does.
“But there are times when he stays on the ropes, and he moves around. Target the jab to the body. He could work on that, AJ, and be very disciplined and don’t get greedy, don’t overreach and don’t get sloppy.
“If he was able to stick to a disciplined game plan, he could win the fight. But right now, if I was to bet my house on it, I would have to say Fury, but I wouldn’t be able to watch. I wouldn’t be massively confident. It’s a great fight. It’s a real pick ’em,” said Barker.