Tyson Fury may yet secure a heavyweight unification fight against Oleksandr Usyk, following Anthony Joshua suggesting he might step aside and let it happen.
Joshua and Fury seemed like their trajectories would culminate in a blockbuster bout, and the two had even agreed to a fight last year, one which would have taken place in Saudi Arabia. Yet much has changed since, and it no longer appears like they’ll be stepping in the ring together anytime soon.
Fury was made to make good on the rematch clause with Deontay Wilder and successfully defended his defense last month. Joshua wasn’t as fortunate, losing his belts to Usyk in September. The loss means Joshua vs. Fury isn’t happening just yet, but Fury vs. Usyk is also under threat as Joshua has triggered his rematch clause against the Ukrainian.
The bout could occur in the spring, leaving Fury’s opportunity for a unification fight in the wind for several more months. However, there is hope it could happen sooner, as Joshua has admitted he could be willing to step aside and allow Fury vs. Usyk to go on if the money makes sense.
Should Joshua go ahead with the bout and lose to Usyk for a second time, his career would suffer a considerable blow. He would probably be better off stepping aside for now as Usyk had very little difficulty beating him in September, and there was little to suggest a rematch could be any different.
In any case, a fight between Usyk and Fury would be more attractive. Sure, it wouldn’t be the British showdown fans were looking forward to, but even that’s not as promising as it seemed last year.
With Fury beating Wilder and Joshua losing to Usyk, the heavyweights aren’t on the same level right now, and by all indications, Fury would make light work of the Watford-born fighter.
Fury would be the favorite in a match against Usyk, but the Ukrainian would present a formidable challenge. It wouldn’t take long before betting odds were released on a match of such magnitude as the best live betting bookmakers waste little time setting picks for significant events.
FURY vs. USYK
For now, bets on Joshua vs. Usyk could be had, with some popular betting sites offering odds of 4/9 on the Usyk and 7/4 on Joshua. You should check out the best live betting bookmakers once the rematch is officially announced.
Joshua has set tongues wagging after unfollowing promoter Eddie Hearn on all of his social media accounts. Hearn wasn’t alone, though, as the former heavyweight champion fashioned a mass unfollowing that the Matchroom Boxing chairman wasn’t spared from.
Joshua now follows 20 accounts on Twitter and 25 on Instagram and appears to have only left his sponsors.
Hearn was quizzed on the matter while discussing Teofimo Lopez’s defeat to George Kambosos on Saturday night and did not appear concerned.
“Nothing,” he replied when asked for his thoughts. I think he’s unfollowed everyone but his sponsors, hasn’t he?”
“Don’t worry, we still talk every day,” he added with a grin.
Meanwhile, Fury has branded Joshua a “mug” for criticizing Wilder’s strategy against the Gypsy King. Joshua suggested that Wilder did not use his head and tired quickly as a result.
“He tried, but to get that power and that ferociousness, you have to have it up here,” he said during a JD Sports round table. “Before you have it just here [clenches fists] at that level, you have to have it here [points to his head] as well.’
“Not in this day and age [can heavyweights jab for 12 rounds] because heavyweights are different.
“I met the guy who makes gloves the other day, and he said that they never used to have to make special gloves. But now heavyweights are 17 to 19 stone and six-foot ten. The whole division is changed in the last, like five years.”
“And before, fighters could jab like that for 12 rounds and get away with it. They’d get a bit tired, but they were conditioned because they were lighter.
“But now, when you’ve got big guys [who are] six-foot-seven, they get tired.”
Fury responded to the comments by tweeting “irony of this mug.” The two Brits have developed quite the fierce rivalry outside of the ring, and fans hope to see it end up in a fight someday.