Anthony Joshua is chomping at the bit to get a fight against Tyson Fury, who he strongly believes deserved a win over WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder last December. Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) is hoping that Fury will agree to fight him after he faces Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KO) in their rematch, which still hasn’t been negotiated.
The World Boxing Council ordered Wilder and Fury to face each other again to clear up the controversy of their fight on December 1. That fight was scored a 12 round draw.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s interested in matching him against the winner of the Wilder-Fury fight. However, they would need to be willing to accept less than a 50-50 split. The winner of the Wilder vs. Fury 2 fight is going to be so popular that Hearn and Joshua are going to look silly in the eyes of the boxing world if they insist on offering less than 50 percent of the loot to the winner. Joshua look like he’s ducking the fight if he doesn’t want to make it an even fight when it comes to the split.
It’s interesting that Joshua is banging the drum for a fight against Fury when an announcement is rumored to be taking place today for his April 13 fight against Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in London, England. This is a fight that will be on SKY Box office PPV, if the rumor turns out to be true. As such, Joshua talking about wanting to fight Fury sounds almost gluttonous.
Joshua already has a full plate in front of him with a fight against Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) on April 13. Heck, Joshua might lose that fight, and then where will he be? He’s not going to get a fight against Fury once he loses his IBF, WBA and WBO straps unless he’s willing to take the smaller money. Things will likely be reversed in terms of purse splits once Joshua is no longer the unified champion.
Joshua, 29, has the ability to get the Fury or Wilder fight if he really wanted to fight either of them, but he’s not giving his promoter Eddie Hearn his marching orders to make those fights by telling him to give them the 50/50 purse split that they’re both asking for. At this rate, Joshua is never going to get the fights against Wilder and Fury if he’s not willing to give them what they’re asking for.
“That would be massive. I would love to,” Joshua said to The Graham Norton Show via Sky Sports. “The fight that Wilder and Fury had, I felt that Fury won, so it would be amazing to have two British heavyweights and we would be combining the belts up.”
Joshua isn’t a judge, so his comments on the Wilder-Fury fight are irrelevant. The fact of the matter is, Fury was knocked down twice in the championship rounds by Deontay, and he only survived the 12th round knockout because the referee decided to give a count despite him appearing to be unconscious. Joshua’s fight with Carlos Takam was stopped in the 10th round by referee Phil Edwards with Carlos was only slightly buzzed and still on his feet, fighting back. If Wilder-Fury had a similar referee working the fight, the fight would have likely been stopped the moment Fury hit the deck. So it’s kind of pointless for Joshua to say he thinks Fury won, because the fight would have likely ended by a knockout with a different referee was working the bout.
“In the eyes of a lot of people, Fury is a champion as such,” Joshua said.
Fury isn’t seen as a champion in the eyes of the ones that count, and that’s the World Boxing Council. They still have Wilder the champion, and that’s what matters. If Joshua wants to treat Fury as the WBC champion, and create his rules for the sport, then he should offer him the 50-50 split that he’s asking for, and treat him as the champion. In other words, Joshua needs to put his money where his mouth is by offering Fury the kind of loot that he would if he were a world champion. Of course, if Joshua is just talking and not really serious about him believing that Fury is the uncrowned WBC champion, then he can continue to offer him less than a 50-50 split, and likely never get the fight with him.
“We’re the top three, so I would love to fight him. Even though he hasn’t got a belt, it’s still fighting one of the top three,” Joshua said.
The WBC has already ordered the Wilder vs. Fury 2 rematch. Those guys both want the second fight, so that they can clear up the controversy once and for all.
Joshua goes on to say that Wilder underestimated Fury, thinking that he was getting an easy mark due to him being out of the ring for nearly three years. That doesn’t sound like Wilder though, because he’d already proven that he was willing to fight the best by taking on Luis Ortiz and beating him. Ortiz is considered the #3 heavyweight in boxing in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans, above Fury and Dillian Whyte. Wilder put his WBC title on the line last year in daring to fight a guy that Joshua hasn’t. Eddie Hearn won’t even consider putting Ortiz in with Joshua. Hearn prefers to match Joshua against Carlos Takam, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller and a rematch with Whyte. Wilder took on Fury believing that he was the same guy that beat Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. Wilder always believed that he could beat Fury even back then, so he wasn’t going to shy away from fighting him now.
With Joshua likely facing Whyte in a rematch on April 13, it’s premature for him to be talking about wanting to fight Fury. Joshua might lose to Whyte, and end up having to face him in a trilogy fight. Further, Fury might end up getting knocked out by Wilder in their rematch, and that’ll completely spoil Joshua’s hopes for a fight against him. Joshua should be keeping his focus entirely on the Whyte fight, if that’s the one that is coming next for him on April 13. Joshua was staggered by a one-armed Whyte in the 2nd round of their fight in 2015. That was Whyte fighting with an injured left shoulder, and he still came close to knocking him out. If Joshua has to fight a healthy Whyte on April 13, there’s no telling what will happen with him. I’m just saying. It could end badly for AJ, and then his pipe dream of him fighting Fury will be a hopeless mentholated dream.