This week, representatives for Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua announced that the two heavyweight champions have agreed to a two-fight deal in 2021.
The news created a massive buzz in the boxing world especially in Britain where these two fighters hail from. In fact, this matchup will easily become the greatest British boxing spectacle of all-time and one of the biggest heavyweight fights in the history of the sport if they both retain their belts until then.
Unfortunately, that might be easier said than done as there are some major hurdles between now and the first proposed bout, which is tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2021, as both champs have mandatory fights before then.
Let’s take a closer look at the road to Fury vs Joshua, see what obstacles they must overcome, and examine the latest odds from boxing betting sites.
Details for the Heavyweight Battle of Britain
Both camps for these fighters have been in negotiations for an unknown amount of time. However, what we do know is that the two sides have agreed to a two-fight deal with a 50-50 split in the first fight. The winner will reportedly get a 60-40 split in the rematch.
Currently, the date and venue have yet to be agreed on. TV broadcasters are also still being negotiated. There’s some buzz that their first fight could take place in Las Vegas or the Middle East. The popular opinion is that the first fight should be in London’s 90,000+ seat Wembley Stadium.
As for a date on this first encounter, that’s going to depend on numerous factors including mandatory challengers along the way.
MASSIVE THANKS TO DANIEL KINNERHAN FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN.???? god bless pic.twitter.com/18FfVKfCax
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) June 10, 2020
Fury vs Joshua Betting Odds
The following updated betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
- Tyson Fury (-185)
- Anthony Joshua (+165)
In February, prior to this agreement, online betting sites had already released odds on a potential Joshua vs Fury fight. At that time, Fury was a -150 favorite over the +150 Joshua.
Since the announced agreement between the two camps, oddsmakers have increased Tyson Fury’s odds to a range of -185 to -200. Furthermore, Joshua has moved from a +150 line to +165 with many sports betting websites.
What makes this even more intriguing is that in late 2018, Joshua was the large betting favorite in a proposed matchup as he opened with a -175 line compared to Fury’s +138 line. This drastic change in odds could also end up taking place again between now and the first fight.
If you believe Fury will win then hop on the -185 line now because it could go up before the proposed first fight. Joshua’s odds offer value now, but they could offer even more value by time we get to the summer of 2021. Joshua bettors could receive better value if they wait.
Obstacles in Fury’s Way
Before Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) can even think of smashing Anthony Joshua, he has some significant obstacles to overcome.
The biggest obstacle is a trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs). They first fought against each other in December 2018. That fight ended in a highly controversial split decision. It also featured Fury getting up off the canvas in the latter rounds.
Their rematch took place in February 2020 and Fury dominated that fight. Tyson would go on to win via TKO in the 7th round. It was a fantastic performance by Fury who cemented himself as the best heavyweight in the sport today.
This trilogy bout should take place in the fall after things get back to normal following the pandemic. If all goes well for Fury, he would then be called upon to defend the WBC belt in February 2021 against mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs).
Currently, Whyte is considered the interim-champ and has a bout lined up against Alexander Povetkin this fall. If Whyte wins then we could see the WBC pressure Fury to defend the WBC title instead of waiting for the massive showdown against Anthony Joshua.
Fury has already come out in defiance of the idea of fighting Whyte before Anthony Joshua. Not only did he point out that Whyte has already been defeated by Joshua, but Fury also hinted at possibly dropping the WBC belt instead of defending it prior to the showdown with Joshua:
“It won’t be a belt or an organization dictating to anybody because no-one has ever dictated to the champion. These low profile fighters don’t mean anything to me, I’m after the biggest fights available. I’m a proud WBC champion but at the end of the day I’m the lineal heavyweight champion of the world which trumps everything. Belts are just pieces of leather with pieces of metal on them and they don’t mean anything to me.”
If we are to believe Fury, and there’s no reason not to, the only thing in his way to a fight with Joshua is the trilogy fight against Wilder.
After seeing how Fury out-boxed Wilder in February, I believe he will win again in the third meeting.
Hurdles Joshua Must Clear First
Just like Fury, Anthony Joshua also has a fight lined up for the fall. He’s set to take on mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) from Bulgaria. The 39 year old is a rugged fighter, but not someone that anyone expects to give Joshua too much trouble.
This fight could be closer than you think, according to @EddieHearn
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) April 3, 2020
Following the Pulev fight, there’s rumors that Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) could be a mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBO title by the end of the year or in early 2021. The 33 year old was the former undisputed cruiserweight champ and is quickly moving up the rankings as a heavyweight.
Fortunately for Joshua, his promoter Eddie Hearn also has Usyk under the Matchroom Boxing banner. In fact, Dillian Whyte is with the promotion too. So, in reality, Hearn could make this Joshua vs Fury fight a smooth process if he wants to.
Who Wins Between Fury and Joshua?
|Tyson Fury||Anthony Joshua|
The tale of the tape shows that Fury is three inches taller than Joshua and also has a three inch reach advantage. More than likely, he will come in at least 25 to 30 pounds heavier than Joshua as well.
Joshua could be the better technical boxer, but Fury definitely has unparalleled skills for a big man. Additionally, he’s clearly the heavier hitter between the two:
“I’ve just knocked out the heaviest puncher in boxing history. Andy Ruiz is not a big puncher but he knocked out Anthony Joshua. So I’d say I am a harder puncher than him. There’s people who have sparred both of us and quite a few of them have said it as well. But it’s not about who can punch hardest – it’s about the skill that goes behind it. I am still unbeaten in a 12-year professional career. I’m a force to be reckoned with.”
As I said in February, I believe Fury wins this matchup. He has the power, the range, the chin and the durability to outlast, outpunch, and outfight Joshua.
Tyson Fury has never been defeated before, but Joshua was upset by Ruiz a year ago as he was beaten to the punch and suffered a TKO. Fury is the second heaviest puncher in the weight class behind Wilder. And he’s already taken Deontay’s best shots and survived.
Joshua doesn’t hit nearly as hard as Fury or Wilder. Joshua will have the speed and athletic advantage, but Fury will cut off the ring, corner him and jab until he can get in close, lean and pound on Joshua.
I see Fury winning via TKO in this fight. At the very least, it will be a one sided unanimous decision win.
Who Wins Between Fury and Joshua?Tyson Fury (-185)