Anthony Joshua is one of the most popular boxers in the world. Many experts predict he’ll be the heavyweight to fight the winner of the next Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder matchup. If it does happen, it’ll be a long-overdue fight the boxing world has waited for.
But what circumstances will get Joshua a shot at one of those two? Will he fare better against Fury or Wilder? Let’s look at why Joshua will be watching the Wilder-versus-Fury rematch closer than anyone.
Anthony Joshua’s boxing career
Hailing from the United Kingdom, Joshua has a career record of 23-1. His only loss was a shocking June 2019 upset to Andy Ruiz Jr. Then, in December 2019, Joshua avenged the loss, winning a unanimous decision against Ruiz. His next scheduled bout was against Kubrat Pulev. But the coronavirus pandemic suspended the fight.
With Joshua’s impressive performances thus far, it’s only natural that he’d be the next in line for the winner of Fury vs. Wilder. But he may have to wait after the result of that duo’s last fight.
The impact of Fury vs. Wilder II on the boxing world
In their first fight, Wilder managed to knock Fury down twice. But many believed Fury should’ve won the fight on points. The two battled to a draw. In their second showdown, the victory was clear cut. Fury absolutely dominated Wilder, causing Wilder’s corner to throw in the towel in the seventh round following a referee stoppage.
Prior to the fight, many fans speculated about the possibility of a Wilder vs. Joshua matchup. But after Wilder’s disappointing performance against Fury, that fight will have to wait — and it may never happen at all.
How does Joshua factor into the next Fury vs. Wilder fight?
It’s unclear when the next Fury vs. Wilder fight will take place, but it will happen. Wilder invoked his rematch clause following his disastrous performance in the last fight.
The fight was originally scheduled for mid-July in Las Vegas. Now? It’s anyone’s guess. Promoter Bob Arum correctly pointed out that the fight happening July is a longshot. The fighters need somewhere to train and tickets must be sold. With the coronavirus response ongoing, an October/November time frame is the most optimistic timeframe.
What does this mean for Joshua? He must wait even longer to get his title shot. But the boxer can rest easy knowing he’ll be all but guaranteed to fight the winner. Against Wilder, Joshua recognizes he’d need to watch out for Wilder’s big right hand.
Wilder is a knockout specialist, so Joshua figures he’d need to go for the same result Wilder always strives for by ending the fight early via KO:
“This is a serious fight, so I ain’t going to go in there to try and outbox him for 12 rounds, because of his punching power as well … I’ve got to go in there and take him out. Don’t let him get too comfortable in the ring with me.”
As for Fury, Joshua has fought him before, well, sort of. The two were sparring partners when Joshua was an amateur. According to Fury, it wasn’t much of a challenge, though Joshua did offer to spar with him in the lead up to the Wilder fight:
“I’m there with my hands down and flicking him, leaning out of the way. He’s coming forward with big swings. How’s he going to hit me? I said: ‘Go on then, put one on me, I’ll stand still for you.’ He just can’t win. It was what it was.”
Joshua’s had a lot of fights since that time, and he’s become one of the most dominant boxers in the world. Either fight would be a challenge, and both would be classics.