Anthony Joshua: Tyson Fury is only relevant once the contract is signed
By Charles Brun: Tyson Fury holds no interest for IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua until the moment that the two sign the contract to face each other in the future.
Right now, Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) views the 31-year-old WBC belt holder Fury as entirely irrelevant, and he’s not going to respond to the constant static noise that comes from him.
Joshua still needs to beat his next opponent Kubrat Pulev, who is going to be looking to take his head off with right hands. Joshua knows he can’t overlook his next opponent. He made that mistake in 2019 when he looked passed Andy Ruiz Jr. and paid a stiff price by getting knocked out.
Pulev isn’t quite as dangerous as Ruiz, but he still has enough pop in his punches to take out Joshua. AJ has a major chin problem that won’t go away anytime soon.
Pulev can hit harder than a lot of fans realize, and he’s going to be looking to take Joshua out with every shot.
Fury trolling Joshua
In what appeared to be a move to get attention from the boxing media, Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) took some shots at Joshua this week, criticizing his fighting style and vowing to beat him once the two meet up.
It’s similar stuff to what Fury has been saying for years now, but the only difference is it included a mention of Andy Ruiz Jr. Fury has been trolling Joshua forever, it seems, and it works for him to get attention from the boxing public.
Fury doesn’t get the same attention when he trashes Deontay Wilder for obvious reasons. Fans are giving Wilder no shot at beating him in their third fight, so it doesn’t register any longer hen Fury criticizes him.
With Fury and Joshua both needing to win their interim fights this year, it’s pointless for either of them to start banging on about their unification match. Something could go terribly wrong for one or both of them in their next fights, and then they would silly afterward for having focused so far ahead.
Fury still needs to get passed former WBC champion Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs). They don’t have a date yet, but the fight should have by the fall. Joshua has a mandated defense coming up against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs). Neither of these fighters is easy outs, especially Wilder.
He had Fury knocked out in their first fight, but the ‘Gypsy King’ got lucky with the referee giving him a count while he was asleep. You can argue that if Fury wasn’t as popular as he is, that fight would have been stopped.
Fury isn’t relevant yet
“Undoubtedly, the fight I want is Tyson Fury — he is holding something that I want, he’s on my hit list,” said Joshua to The Sun. “Tyson Fury is only relevant the day him and me sign a contract to fight.
“The day he and I are going to fight is the only time really that I should be talking about Tyson Fury, and I don’t really want to be in that position where I am talking him down,” said Joshua.
It’s way too early for Joshua to start talking back and forth with Fury, given that they both need to win their next fights before they can meet up. The sport is locked down right now because of the pandemic, and neither of them knows when they’ll be fighting.
You can understand where Fury is coming from with him aiming his barbs at Joshua. Fans still view Joshua as someone that has a 50-50 chance against Fury. It’s not the same with Wilder, who is being given no shot at beating Fury. As such, if Fury rips Wilder apart, it’s not sporting. It just seems mean-spirited on Fury’s part whenever he targets Wilder for his comments.
At the same time, it’s become old hat. Fury has downgraded Wilder so much since his win over him last February that it doesn’t register with fans when he says something new. At this point, the only way for Fury to get fans to take notice is when he starts talking up Wilder, saying he’s got a chance.
That’s probably what Fury should do because fans aren’t going to want to order the Fury-Wilder 3 fight unless they believe it’ll be competitive.
Joshua says Fury gets away with a lot
“He says a lot of controversial things, and I know if that was me,” said Joshua on Fury. “I just think he gets away with a lot. All the ‘jumping on him like the little fat boy did’ stuff, that is all irrelevant.
“Until the day we fight that is where it ends and I don’t have anything else to say about him. I really want the belt he holds and that is where I stand,” said Joshua.
AJ has learned that he doesn’t get ahead by getting in the gutter and covered with gunk when he starts firing back at Fury. Once Joshua reacts to some of Fury’s comments, then he’s playing his game. Fury needs Joshua or anyone he’s criticizing to respond to him for him to get maximum enjoyment.
At times, Fury doesn’t get away with stuff when he makes controversy statements, so Joshua is wrong by saying that he gets away with stuff. But the media and the boxing world is accustomed to Fury talking a lot of trash. That’s the way he is.
Fury does it for shock value. If he stays good stuff about his opponents or if he only mildly criticizes them, then his comments are echoed around the world. But by going over the top, Fury gets the reaction that he wants and seems to need.
If Joshua is bored, he can fire back at Fury and look to get the fans to react, but it would be better for AJ to try and get people to focus on his next fight with Pulev. That’s the one that Joshua needs to get fans excited about.
As of now, boxing fans view the 39-year-old Pulev as not having any shot at winning, and that’s going to hurt the pay-per-view buys.
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