By Allan Fox: Promoter Lou DiBella sees Tyson Fury defeating Anthony Joshua in a competitive fight for the first clash of their two-fight series this year. DiBella feels that Joshua has too much talent for him to be beaten up the way Deontay Wilder was by Fury in their rematch in 2020
WBC heavyweight champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) isn’t a big puncher, DiBella points out, and that’ll make it difficult for him to try and club Joshua into submission.
DiBella feels that something was wrong with Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) on the night of his rematch with Fury. Last year. He’s not saying what it was that was bothering Wilder, but he was clearly not himself that night.
Fury won’t beat Joshua in a one-sided manner
“Even a third Wilder-Fury fight is still at some point sellable,” said DiBella to SecondsOut. “It was much different the first time than the second time. I’m not buying into all the excuses involved, but something was wrong with Wilder that night.
“I would certainly rather see Fury and Joshua right now. I think Fury is going to beat him [Joshua], but I don’t think he’s going to wipe him out. He’s not the devastating puncher with one-punch power that Deontay was.
“It’s [Joshua vs. Fury] not going to be a two or three-round fight or a similar fight to Wilder II. I think it’s going to be competitive.
“And I think they’re going to respect each other enough that it’s likely going to go the distance. And I don’t think it’s likely that either guy is going to stop the other.
“I see a decision if I had to bet, and I don’t see a whitewash. I think Joshua is too good to be whitewashed,” DiBella said in picking Fury over Joshua.
“Could he lose decisively? Yeah. But a whitewash, a kind of fight where you wouldn’t be able to accept a rematch, I think that’s unlikely,” said DiBella.
It would be bad for Fury if he beats Joshua in a one-sided manner and vice versa. With Fury and Joshua signing for two-fights, it could mess things up if the first fight of the two-fight deal is a blowout on a lopsided 12 round decision.
There won’t be as much interest in the second Joshua vs. Fury fight if the first turns out to be a massacre similar to the Deontay Wilder rematch last year.
Ring-rust won’t be a problem for Fury
“I don’t think it’ll matter that much; they’re both professionals. They know how to fight, and they don’t forget,” DiBella said when asked if Fury will have ring rust for the Joshua fight due to his long layoff.
“A layoff, you can get a little bit rusty, but they’re in the gym, and they both have gazillions of dollars at their disposal.
“You can go and get the best of sparring and get into a gym in fighting shape through a camp. I don’t think time-off is going to matter that much unless there’s a further delay, and the fight in the Middle East can’t be scheduled on some normal time frame.
‘In which case, you would think that Fury would want to get back in the ring. My gut tells me at this point that they could make the Fury fight with AJ right now if they wanted,” said Lou.
For Fury, ring rust might be an issue because he’ll be coming off a year layoff, and he may not be ready for a fighter like Joshua.
The way that Fury has been fighting lately in his last two matches against Deontay Wilder and Otto Wallin, that might not work against Joshua.
Fury can’t count on staying close to Joshua and clubbing him with hammer fists to the back of the head as he did against Wilder. Joshua is too good of a fighter or Fury to get the better of him on the inside.
Fury should try and keep the action on the outside to use his jab and pick Joshua apart. Regrettably, Fury will likely use the Kronk Gym style of aggressive fighting to beat Joshua.
DiBella not sure Usyk beats Joyce
“I’m kind of interested in seeing what happens with [Oleksandr] Usyk next,” said DiBella.
“By the way, if the WBO did actually strip [Joshua] and give Usyk a shot to win their title, it would be unfortunate because you’d like Joshua to fight Fury for everything [all four heavyweight titles].
But on the other hand, you’d sort of understand it. I mean, Usyk followed protocols to get his shot. So I’m not unsympathetic.
Money can solve anything, and there’s a lot of money in the Middle East. If there’s enough money, I’m going to guess that a multi-million check to Usyk will probably settle the situation.
“That would be fascinating,” DiBella said about Usyk facing Joe Joyce for the interim WBO heavyweight title. “I like that fight. I’m not sure Usyk wins that fight.
“Big Joe showed m a lot in his last fight. I didn’t think he could have that kind of performance [against Daniel Dubois]. I was very impressed with Joe Joyce’s last fight.
“And I got to tell you, Usyk is a great, great fighter. He’s probably, in my mind, one of the greatest cruiserweights of all time. But he’s not a heavyweight naturally.
“He’s competing at the heavyweight level and the heavyweight weight class because his boxing skills are so strong.
“But a giant like Joe Joyce, a heavy-handed big man. That’s not an easy fight for Usyk.
If we have a string of heavyweight fights with Usyk and Joyce, we get a Deontay and Ruiz, and we actually get an AJ and Fury, that’s a nice run for the heavyweight division,” said DiBella.
It’s still not a certainty that Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) and Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) meet up for the interim WBO heavyweight title.
Usyk vs. Joyce is one of those 50-50 fight that is impossible to predict a winner for. The World Boxing Organization hasn’t ordered the fight yet, and Joyce still hasn’t given Usyk a step aside.
Although Usyk beat Joyce by a five-round session eight years ago, that was a different time. The fight was shorter, Joyce was lighter, and he wasn’t the guy he is today.
We’ll have to see if this match ends up happening or not. Both guys have other options for fights, and they don’t need to fight each other for the interim WBO strap necessarily.