07
Jul
2020

Boxer-turned-actor Chris Evangelou previews Fury vs Joshua

RINGSIDE 26/06/2020

Retired boxer Chris ‘The Flash’ Evangelou, an ABA champion in 2006, challenged for the Southern Area super-lightweight title twice as a professional and won an International Masters title in his 15th and penultimate contest before a recurring hand injury forced an unfortunate and untimely retirement.

During his six-year professional boxing career, which spanned from December 2009 to March 2016, Chris inevitably built up an incredible array of boxing experience and knowledge, which he still likes to share despite switching careers to acting, where he recently appeared as ‘Primetime’ in Guy Ritchie’s latest movie, ‘The Gentleman’.

Upon hearing the news that a two-fight deal had been brokered between ‘The Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury and British rival Anthony Joshua, the 35-year-old amateur and professional boxing champion revealed his thoughts on who wins and why.

Undisputed

“Everyone wants to see the fight as undisputed with all the titles on the line. I think it only matters if all the belts are not on the line if they lost the belts prior to the fight. If they don’t lose the belts in the ring, so if the politics of the governing bodies gets in the way, but if anyone loses their belts then it definitely takes away the credibility of this fight.

There’s so many things that have to happen first, they’ve both got mandatory fights already lined up, so I never get too excited about a fight until they’re actually facing each other across the ring.”

Fury vs Joshua

“So, everyone was shocked about how Fury fought in his last fight, but I wasn’t surprised at him coming forwards the way he did, but then I wasn’t surprised at how Joshua fought Andy Ruiz either. I kind of predicted that he would try to box him and stay on the outside because Andy Ruiz is very powerful on the inside.

If I had to put my money on how they’re going to come out fighting, I think it’s going to be a boxing match because Tyson Fury will make it a boxing match. And I don’t think Joshua is going to have the know-how of how to walk down Tyson Fury, especially being in the last fight how Tyson Fury showed his power and size is dominant.

Both are going to be wary obviously, but I think it’s going to be quite a boxing match to begin with, and that’s going to play into Fury’s favour, because, after all, Fury has the better boxing pedigree than AJ, even though AJ is very strong, and he’s got a good foundation of boxing skills, his one-two is good and he knows how to throw a good shot, I just think Fury’s awkwardness and his ring craft is going to take the early rounds, while AJ tries to figure him out.

It’s quite hard to talk about it round by round, it all depends on their motion and performance in the ring, but I think once Tyson Fury realises that AJ isn’t really hitting him much, I think Fury is going to start putting his punches together and using his overhand right and hitting AJ with it, because Joshua has got a weak guard on the left side of his chin, he has a low left hand, which is actually quite dangerous.

If you notice when he fought Alexander Povetkin, he kept getting caught with the overhand right and if Povetkin was a bit stronger and a little bit more in his prime, then he would have definitely hurt Joshua just like Wladimir Klitschko did with his straight right when he knocked him down, so I think Fury is going to be very successful with his overhand right.”

The Verdict

“I’ve got Fury winning. Percentage-wise, I think it’s Fury 60% and AJ 40%. I think Fury wins on points.”

The Rematch

“Do you know what, it’s very rare when a fight has been made as a two-fight deal straightaway. Usually, it’s subject to one losing or one winning, obviously they’re both world champions and they both put down a rematch clause. It’s very rare that happens. Look at Floyd Mayweather when he fought Oscar De La Hoya, they didn’t have a two-fight deal and that was a fight of the decade back then.

It’s very, very hard to say how the rematch would go; again, it’s all to do with what happens in the first fight. Look at Wilder and Fury and their two fights, they fought very differently in both fights, so it’s very hard to say who adapts to the environment best; I just think, overall, and I don’t wanna’ put Joshua down because I think he’s a good fighter and he’s strong, and I think if he catches Tyson Fury then he’ll hurt him, but I just feel the ring craft, the pedigree, the boxing ability all lies with Tyson Fury. Also, he’s awkward, also he’s 6ft 9”; Joshua is not used to fighting guys taller than him, so I think it’s going to be a very hard two-fight deal for Joshua to adjust to.”

Fury vs Wilder III

“I see it happening again with Fury, I see Fury beating him again. I just feel he’s got Wilder’s number now.

He’s the bigger man, he can fight on the back foot, he can push him back if he wants to, he’s shown he’s the stronger man – dominance-wise not powerful punching, but size-wise and presence.

Fury just looks more domineering in the ring and Wilder looked quite dwarfed by him in the second fight and I feel Wilder just doesn’t have that boxing ability to adjust. Hopefully, he does and he doesn’t get hurt like he did in the first one, that was quite a dangerous injury he sustained.

I’ve got Fury to win, I think it’s going to be another stoppage, maybe a few extra rounds this time, but I think he’s going to stop Wilder again.”

Joshua vs Pulev

“AJ to win late stoppage in rounds 7-10. That’s a fight to build AJ up. You can’t dismiss any fighter, I think Pulev is a decent fighter, I just don’t think he’s in the elite of the heavyweight division.”


 

Ones to Watch

“I think Oleksandr Usyk is going to be one to watch, even though he’s a smaller man for the heavyweight division, he’s going to surprise a few people because he’s a talented boxer, very good pedigree and has had an amazing career already.

“Daniel Dubois is one to watch as well. He’s got the Joe Joyce fight coming up next and I think he’s going to show everyone a good performance, so I’d say those two are ones to watch for now.

Of course, you can’t dismiss Dillian Whyte, he just doesn’t go away, he’s a thorn in the side isn’t he? Problem is, when he fights he’s a bit eager and swings a lot and I think he could get caught out when he fights someone at elite level, he could be in trouble.

He can hurt you and I think it could be a different story if they fought AJ again. I don’t know if he really believed he would win last time, I don’t know if he really had it in him to do it, but now that he has experienced AJ’s power and maybe gained confidence. In the last two years, Dillian Whyte has progressed really well, but you just don’t know with him, he’s a bit of a loose cannon that’s the problem.”