A potential showdown between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua has most of the boxing world salivating, including former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi.
The former light-welterweight and welterweight king joined The Italian Football Podcast this week to talk about his other passion – Italian football – but did have time to touch on the fight the whole of Britain is desperate to see.
And Malignaggi believes ‘The Gypsy King’ just holds the aces right now, in a mega event which is well worth the wait.
“I think Tyson Fury is the best heavyweight boxer in the world so right now I edge it towards Tyson Fury,” he said.
“But I also want to see the fight so therefore if I want to see the fight then it means that Joshua has something for Fury that makes the fight worthwhile.
“Although my pick would be Fury, it is a fight worth waiting for and it is a fight worth watching. And I look forward to hopefully seeing it soon.”
Fury vs Joshua has global appeal
While all-British fights seldom penetrate America outside of a hardcore boxing fan base, Paulie clearly believes this is one narrative which has global appeal.
“I think both Fury and Joshua are great fighters. Both are great characters and both have done an amazing job not just for British boxing but for world boxing,” he said.
Fury and Joshua of course have already agreed in principle the financial structure of a two-fight deal. Both bouts – COVID-19 permitting – are likely to take place in 2021.
The first fight would see a 50-50 revenue split, with the rematch providing the winner with a 60-40 share.
Before their meetings can be finalised, both men have interim assignments next month.
Fury has a UK homecoming bout at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday December 5. That appears likely to be against unbeaten German Agit Kabayel (20-0).
A week later on December 12, Joshua will put his IBF, WBA and WBO belts on the line against Bulgarian veteran Kubrat Pulev (28-1) at the O2 Arena.