Fury advises Joshua to vacate WBO belt to duck Oleksandr Usyk
By Charles Brun: Tyson Fury believes Oleksandr Usyk will beat Anthony Joshua if they fight in 2021. He wants AJ. to vacate his WBO heavyweight title to steer around his mandatory obligation.
Usyk (17-0, 13 K.O.s) was installed as the WBO mandatory last year by the World Boxing Organization and now wants his title shot against Joshua after he takes care of his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev on December 12th of this year.
Recognizing the risk involved in Joshua (23-1, 21 K.O.s) defending against the crafty, fox-like Usyk in early 2021, Fury says the heck with A.J. holding onto his WBO belt, he should vacate it and fight him.
A.J. needs to get rid of his WBO title like it’s a hot potato and treat it like it’s got the plague, as there’s too much risk holding onto it. All that loot that Joshua will lose if he goes forward and faces Usyk and loses to him; it would be a real tragedy.
Joshua doesn’t need to take the risky mandatory defense against the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and former cruiserweight undisputed world champion.
Tyson has no faith in Joshua
Fury doesn’t believe Joshua can beat Usyk. He doesn’t want to lose out on his retirement funds from a fight between him and AJ. Usyk can wreck Fury’s ‘golden parachute’ retirement funds by beating Joshua and destroying the vast money fight between them forever.
Yeah, Joshua could still fight Fury even if Usyk trounces him, but the money won’t be the same. Fury has been cultivating the Joshua fight all this, and it would be a shame if Usyk swooped in and took that match-up away by beating Joshua.
The real problem that Usyk presents to Joshua and Fury is the possibility of him beating A.J. so severely that he would make him look like a bungling amateur inside the ring.
It’s one thing for Joshua to bounce back from being knocked out by Andy Ruiz, but it would be a daunting task if A.J. is humiliated for 12 rounds in losing to Usyk. It might be impossible for Joshua ever to regain the credibility and cache that he once had before losing to Usyk.
The way that Usyk beats his opponents mentally is similar to how fellow countryman Vasiliy Lomachenko breaks down the guys he faces. He gives them a boxing lesson to where they end up quitting, and it looks so bad. If Usyk does that to Joshua, he may never recover from it mentally and wind up a broken fighter.
If Joshua gets that kind of a beat down by Usyk, there won’t be any point in Fury fighting him. As such, Fury would be facing a tainted fighter, which is why it makes sense for Joshua to vacate his WBO title to avoid having to experience that.
Fury tells Joshua: Vacate your belts and fight me
“Rather than have all these mandatories that he’s got, I say vacate those belts and fight the fight that everyone wants to see,” said Fury to Behind The Gloves about Joshua. “I’m not running from you. I don’t care about you.
“I’ll go through you like a hot knife through butter. Come fight the big boy, step up to the plate and get knocked out, and then go fight all those easy guys. No disrespect to Oleksandr Usyk, a great fighter, a cruiserweight champion, and probably be a heavyweight champion if he fights Anthony Joshua in the meantime.
“But listen, don’t take my retirement check, baby. Don’t do it. I said to Wilder years ago, ‘Don’t take my retirement fund. Don’t fight Joshua; he’s mine.
“He’s my countryman, I’m having him, and I’m breaking him in.’ But it didn’t happen. He got broken in by an unlikely suspect [Andy Ruiz Jr],” Fury said.
Joshua’s pride will likely keep him from vacating his WBO belt because he knows that if he does make that move, boxing fans will say he’s ‘ducking’ Usyk. That would be 100% true, but he would be doing it for a good cause.
The sport of boxing badly needs the Joshua vs. Fury fight right now due to the pandemic. Mandatory defenses by both guys should go out the window for 2020 and 2021 to help the sport.
It won’t matter if Joshua and Fury give up the IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO titles. Whoever picks up the belts will be viewed as paper champions by boxing fans and won’t be recognized as a true champion. The straps would be on loan to whichever fighters pick them up.
Joshua should forget about unknown guys
“Yeah, [Usyk beats Joshua] if they fight, but I bet they don’t because why would he fight Usyk and get paid 10% of what he can make against the ‘Gypsy King.'” said Fury when asked if he thinks Oleksandr Usyk will beat A.J.
“Forget the [WBO] belt, vacate it. Let them belts fight for the belt whoever it is, Usyk and [Joseph] Parker, and then come and fight the big time [Fury].
“We’re not in boxing to fight unknown guys; we’re in boxing for the biggest, best fights at this level. And we’re at the top of the game, fight. May the best man win. Let games begin. It’s a boxing match. What’s the worst that can happen? You can lose, big deal. Get it on,” said Fury.
I think Fury is 100% right about Joshua needing to forget about the “unknown” guys and instead give the boxing world what they want to see in a clash between them.
If Joshua had more talent, it wouldn’t be a big deal for him to face Usyk because he could be counted on to defeat him. But as we’ve already seen in Joshua’s fights against Andy Ruiz, Wladimir Klitschko, and Dillian Whyte, he’s a vulnerable fighter.
Usyk, 33, isn’t an “unknown” guy, but he is in terms of the casual boxing fans in the U.S. and U.K. The hardcore fans know about Usyk, but he’s not popular with them.
He’s got that Lomachenko-style of fighting, which is an acquired taste. As a fan, you have to like to watch the crafty way that Lomachenko fights for you to appreciate someone like Usyk, who is like a bigger, slower version.
Tyson reacts to Hearn saying Joshua will K.O. him
“Eddie Hearn says a lot of things, but I don’t believe a word he says,” said Fury when told that Hearn is saying that Joshua will knock him out. “But again, I respect his opinion, and I respect Johnny Nelson’s opinion too.
“Don’t think that I haven’t seen that, Johnny. Don’t come kissing my a** when you see me anymore because you’ll get that [Fury throws a punch].
“Listen, you picked your guy [Joshua], and that’s no problem. I respect that. Everyone says they can knock everybody out. He [Hearn] didn’t think Andy Ruiz would knockout AJ.,” said ‘The Gypsy King.’
In fairness to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, he likely was saying that he thinks Joshua will knockout Fury is because so many people believe he’s been protecting him and avoiding making that fight.
Fans believe that Hearns’ focus on trying to insert Dillian Whyte into the equation by having him face Fury next February as a sign that he wants Dillian to protect Joshua. That’s probably the reality, though, because if Fury beats Joshua, he will hurt Matchroom and Hearn in the process. After all, the money could dry up.
The money flow that Joshua has been steadily bringing into Matchroom could dry up like the old Spindletop oil well in Texas did in 1936.
Deontay Wilder being silent, “it’s dangerous,” says Sugarhill
“By Deontay Wilder being so silent, it’s dangerous. He ain’t talking now,” said Fury’s trainer Sugarhill Steward. “Before, people were doing a lot of talking. It’s the quiet ones that you got to watch out for.”
“That’s what my mother said,” Fury remarked about Wilder. “‘He’s very quiet, and he’s away in the gym training his [backside] off. You need to be doing the same,‘ so you’ve got to be listening to mom,” Fury said.
Fury has his own worries with him facing former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on December 19th. Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) is an opponent that Fury can’t duck, however, because they have a contract for their trilogy match.
In the case of Joshua, he doesn’t need to fight Usyk because he’s not under contract to fight him. Joshua can give up the WBO belt at any time, and he won’t have to worry about Usyk ever again.
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