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Joe Joyce the frontrunner for Tyson Fury’s next fight

Image: Joe Joyce the frontrunner for Tyson Fury's next fight

By Barry Holbrook: Joe Joyce (15-0,14 KOs) is now the frontrunner for Tyson Fury’s next fight in the summer, now that the negotiations between the ‘Gyspy King’ and unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk have collapsed for their April 29th bout.

Joyce still needs to defeat Zhilei Zhang (24-1-1, 19 KOs) on April 15th in their 12 round headliner at the Copper Box Arena in London, England.

Mike Coppinger of ESPN is the one that has broken the news of Joyce being the frontrunner for Fury’s next fight.

It’s not surprising that the 2016 Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist Joyce is the likely next opponent for Fury because he entered the ring after Tyson’s last fight against Derek Chisora last December, and the two talked about fighting if the Usyk clash failed to happen.

Joyce and Fury are both promoted by Frank Warren, so it’s a natural fight to make. With that said, Joyce will be a grueling fight for Fury, and he could lose if he goes into it with a short training camp, which he would have been the case if he went through with the Usyk clash on April 29th at Wembley Stadium.

Even if Fury is in tip-top shape, he could lose to Joyce because his current fighting style, which involves a lot of holding, grappling & leaning, won’t work against a fighter as powerfully built as ‘The Juggernaut.’

The 6’6″, 260+ lb Joyce is more of a physical specimen than Fury, who has a natural endomorph [flabby] body type. Fury would have to revert to the way he used to fight in 2015 to have a shot at beating Joyce, which might be impossible given his advancing age.

Fury vs. Joyce possible for summer

“That fight is as dead as it gets, Max. I spoke to all the sides, and essentially, they were trying to construct a two-fight deal with a bilateral rematch clause, and the fight fell apart over the purse split for the rematch on April 29th,” said Mike Coppinger to Max On Boxing on ESPN.

“I’m told there are two sites on hold for the summer for Tyson Fury. He’s not looking at retirement. Maybe a fight with Joe Joyce. I think that’s the frontrunner. I think that’s a hell of a fight. Certainly not as good as the Usyk fight.

“I think Joshua is going to be out there after he fights Jermaine Franklin next week, and Andy Ruiz is another option. But I’m looking at Joe Joyce for Fury. For Usyk, it’s going to be a mandatory fight against Daniel Dubois. Frank Warren promotes Fury as well and also promotes Dubois, and I’m told there are going to be talks next week for that fight,” said Coppinger.

“I mean, Dubois lost to Joe Joyce, so Tyson is going to get the winner from that fight a couple of years ago and Usyk the loser,” said Max Kellerman. “Look, I didn’t think the fight was going to happen earlier in the year, but what about later in the year?

“It seems like with all the talking Tyson Fury is doing, and I think there’s a big backlash in boxing among fans. Maybe partly because people feel sympathetic to Usyk with what’s going on in Ukraine and he’s Ukrainian, and partly because there’s the sense that Usyk wants to make the fight, and Tyson Fury, for whatever reason, has put these onerous stipulations in terms of purse splits and things like that.

“It seems like the more I think about it, maybe Tyson Fury looks at Usyk and thinks, ‘That’s a tricky fight.’ Maybe he feels the Usyk fight isn’t a rich enough fight yet, and he has to let it marinate and have these kinds of episodes to whet the public’s appetite.

Usyk vs.  Fury could happen later this year

“What do you think about that, and do you think we could see a unification fight between these two later this year or later next year?” said Kellerman about the Fury vs. Usyk undisputed heavyweight clash.

“I definitely believe the fight is still in play for later this year or early next year, Max,” said Coppinger about the Fury-Usyk contest. “I agree with you. Oleksandr Usyk has a real shot at beating Tyson Fury. He’s a southpaw, he’s an Olympic gold medalist, and he has incredible footwork.

“I think he actually carried power and has more power at heavyweight than he had at cruiserweight. We saw him hurt Anthony Joshua in the first fight. The other problem is the mandatories. After Daniel Dubois, they could order Usyk, the IBF, to fight Filip Hrgovic.

“Tyson Fury is probably going to have a mandatory in there too, but right now, this fight is dead. Usyk was training in Turkey, I’m told. He’s now back in Kyiv. He’s regrouping. There’s a few weeks off, and then he’ll be back in camp for a probable fight against Daniel Dubois,” said Coppinger.

“I want to make my position on this fight very clear. It doesn’t matter, as long as both fighters are winning, it doesn’t matter what belts are stripped,” said Kellerman.

“The sanctioning bodies at this point have zero authority in terms of the recognition of these two as the heavyweight champions. In other words, the winner of this fight [Fury vs. Usyk] these two, will be the only man in the world, no matter what any sanctioning body says, with any legitimate claim as the heavyweight champion of the world.

“So, who cares if you get stripped of a belt or two? It’s still for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, provided both men continue to win,”  said Kellerman.

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