As Anthony Joshua gears up for his return to action against Kubrat Pulev, for many boxing fans there is another potential bout that has got them licking their lips. The prospect of Joshua taking on Tyson Fury in an all-British heavyweight battle is one that would create major headlines all over the world, and would be one of the most hotly-anticipated fights in the history of the sport.
Of course, Joshua has other fish to fry first. Pulev is a tricky opponent, and while AJ is the clear favorite in the Joshua v Pulev odds, it could prove to be a tough test for Joshua, especially given the strange circumstances surrounding the fight as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Should he emerge triumphant though, then the idea of taking on Fury could become very much a reality.
According to reports, both parties are keen for the fight to take place at some stage in 2021. Fury said: “Providing we both come through our next fights, then I would like to think this fight – me and Joshua – will finally get made. We’re both on top of our careers, both world heavyweight champions, and I’d like to think it can happen twice next year.”
Joshua has echoed Fury’s sentiments: “Providing I get past Pulev, what more can I do to prove that I am ready to fight Fury?”
The idea of two fights between two such revered heavyweight champions is a mouth-watering prospect for boxing fans all over the world, and would go a long way towards making up for the relative lack of high-profile action in 2020, due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic and the inability to hold large-scale events.
If the pandemic hadn’t caused such carnage, we may have seen Joshua take on Fury already in 2020, but as it is, boxing fans will have to hold out a little bit longer for the intriguing bout to take place.
Given the nature in which Fury dispatched of Deontay Wilder in the rematch between the pair back in February, there is every reason for Joshua to be apprehensive about the prospect of taking on the Gypsy King. After all, Fury has proved himself to be well and truly back to his best after his struggles with drugs and mental illness. It has been one of British sport’s greatest comeback stories, and it’s clear that the 32-year-old will stop at nothing to win all there is to win in boxing once again.
But then, Joshua will fancy that he has greater attributes than Wilder when it comes to lasting the distance against Fury. AJ has proved himself to be more than a mere knockout artist, and multiple 12-round contests have shown that he can scrap it out when he needs to. This will place more pressure on Fury to go on the front foot, to take the fight to Joshua, potentially leaving himself vulnerable as he does so.
Altogether, a fight between Joshua and Fury seems a lot closer to call than that of Fury and Wilder, given the track record both have of defeating high-profile fighters. Boxing fans can count themselves fortunate that there are so many great fighters out there at the moment, and a clash between Joshua and Fury would be just the thing to cast out the bad memories of 2020 and usher in a new and exciting time for the sport.