Fury vs. Joshua

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Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have still to meet inside a boxing ring, but there is renewed hope that the all-British heavyweight superfight could yet happen.

Twice now they have come so close to getting it on with world heavyweight titles on the line, but both times those hopes were dashed at the 11th hour. Now there is at least a route once again to Fury vs Joshua happening at last.

Fury is now set to face Oleksandr Usyk in a unification bout on February 17, 2024 which should crown the sport’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since 1999. AJ meanwhile could end up facing Filip Hrgovic a few short weeks later for the IBF title – should it become vacant. If both win, a Fury vs Joshua superfight would once again be the biggest showdown boxing can make.

So what about those false starts? First in 2021 a deal was agreed for them to lock horns in Saudi Arabia – only for Deontay Wilder to win an arbitration ruling to force a trilogy match with ‘The Gypsy King’. Then in late 2022 the two men had agreed a 60-40 split in favour of Fury, only for the bout to again fall through.

Fury and Usyk currently hold all the major heavyweight titles – Fury is the WBC and lineal king while Usyk is the IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring magazine champion.

Fury is the outspoken larger-than-life ‘Gypsy King’ from northern England who stunned Wladimir Klitschko to become world champion in 2015 before depression and massive weight gain almost wrecked his career. His road to redemption has been an incredible story – crowned by a devastating destruction of the hitherto unbeaten Wilder as Fury won back the world heavyweight title in February 2020.

The Morecambe behemoth (now 34-0-1 as a pro) has come a long way since his premature birth weighing just one pound. His father John Fury named him after former heavyweight king Mike Tyson. Nowadays a Fury fight is special stuff – and not just for fight night itself. The man brings pure theatre to any press conference he takes over.

Joshua (27-3) meanwhile is the powerful superstar from Watford who ruled at amateur level to claim super-heavyweight gold at the 2012 Olympics in his home city. Then he blasted his way through the professional ranks.

Just like Fury, AJ enjoyed a career-defining night against Wladimir Klitschko. He defeated the valiant Ukrainian great in an epic Wembley showdown in April 2017. Joshua suffered a shock first pro defeat by late stand-in Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in New York in June 2019, but quickly avenged that seventh-round TKO loss by regaining his belts with a comprehensive points victory in Saudi Arabia in December 2019.

AJ would then lose the belts for a second time in a points defeat by Usyk in 2021, followed by another defeat in their rematch in 2022.

Joshua has done a terrific job of rebuilding his reputation in 2023, with three wins in three bouts. He improved in each one, following a decision over Jermaine Franklin and a KO of late stand-in Robert Helenius with a super impressive five-round demolition of Otto Wallin.