Former two-division world champion David Haye has shared his view that Anthony Joshua (23-1) is the only boxer in the heavyweight division right now who is capable of beating current WBC champion Tyson Fury (30-1-0).
Tyson Fury silenced his doubters emphatically two months ago with an impressive seventh-round TKO victory over Deontay Wilder, ending the American’s five-year reign as WBC champion while inflicting the first loss on the 34-year-old’s record too.
Joshua suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz last June, but reclaimed his titles with an accomplished display during the rematch in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
Joshua and Fury have expressed their desire to face off at some stage in future, though Wilder has already exercised his rematch clause ahead of a trilogy fight with Fury at a later date once the coronavirus pandemic is over. A step-aside fee is not an option.
READ: Wilder describes his ‘zombie’ night, insists Fury is not true champion yet
Their third bout was scheduled for July, before sport was suspended worldwide last month. They are now tentatively hoping it can be rescheduled for October, but time will tell if that’s also an ambitious date.
AJ also has a mandatory defence of his titles against Kubrat Pulev (28-1), which was slated for June at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This comes three years after the Bulgarian pulled out of their fight through injury and was replaced by Carlos Takam.
Haye with high praise for Joshua’s power and experience
As quoted by BoxingScene, Haye delivered his opinion: “I think the only person who has the artillery, skillset, athleticism, clean living, know-how, experience, to have a chance to beat Fury right now is Anthony Joshua. I think he’s the only person, realistically.
If you were a betting man, if anyone’s got a chance they’d put [their money] on Joshua. So, he’s the only guy who has the tools to do it. If he lands his shots on Fury, the way Fury got put down – although his chin looked good last time – AJ is a master boxer as well.”
Many boxing fans and casuals have dismissed the suggestion that Joshua could actually prove victorious against Fury, especially after the comprehensive defeat he suffered in Las Vegas last summer. His case wasn’t helped by suffering four knockdowns that night before Ruiz’s R7 TKO victory, despite looking an improved and more calculated fighter in the rematch – just like during his decision victory against Joseph Parker in 2018.
That’s something that Haye also alluded to:
“They underestimate his boxing skill. He hasn’t been boxing as long as Fury has, so he’s still learning. I don’t know, I can see Fury outboxing Joshua long on the inside, but then again I can see AJ letting his hands go in the middle range. He throws such quick shots.
The fight he lost against Ruiz didn’t flatter him in any way. It wasn’t a split decision, it was a horrible loss and I think people [look at that too much]. Boxing doesn’t work like that. I lost to Carl Thompson in my eleventh fight and three years later, I was undisputed number one. It doesn’t matter, as long as you learn, you can come back.”