Tyson Fury may be the present ruler of boxing’s marquee weight class, but who is the future of the heavyweights?
At only 32 ‘The Gypsy King’ has plenty of years left at the top level if he wants them, but already there is a new generation coming through with dreams of one day dethroning the WBC, Ring magazine and lineal world champion.
Tyson Fury on the young heavyweights
The heavyweight division appears to be in rude health right now. As well as the likes of Fury, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Oleksandr Usyk and Andy Ruiz Jr at the very top level, there is another tier of young guns promising explosive action for years to come.
Twenty-two-year-old Daniel ‘Dynamite Dubois (15-0) is seen by many as the future of the division and he will shortly get the chance to bump heads with another unbeaten British prospect in Joe Joyce (11-0).
Meanwhile French Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka (7-0) is carefully building his professional profile on the other side of the Channel.
Fury sat down with Max Kellerman of ESPN for his ‘Max On Boxing’ show to assess some of the best young heavyweight talent out there.
Tyson Fury on Daniel Dubois
“I think Daniel Dubois is a very good prospect coming through, he’s been developed nicely. He’s had some incredible fights along the way, I think he’s unbeaten in like 15 fights. He got a knockout win recently, he looks in fantastic shape. He can punch, he’s big, so he’s everything you’d want from an up-and-coming future heavyweight champion of the world.
“The only thing that we need to do with Daniel Dubois is develop him, not rush him, and get him the right fights at the right time.
“Like most of these heavyweights, they only have a puncher’s chance against ‘The Gypsy King’ because my boxing skill is on another level to all of them. So people like Daniel Dubois, they have that strength, brute force, power and if I’m around still then I’ll welcome the challenge and if not then I’m sure there will be plenty of other guys to beat up on in the heavyweight division in the future.”
Tyson Fury on Joe Joyce
“I like Joe, he’s a very big, strong guy. Very athletic for his size. He’s an Olympic silver medallist, he’s as tough as old boots and he’s got an engine like he’s running on two V12s – he just keeps coming all night.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Joe in camp in Big Bear when I was training for Wilder the first time, so I know how big and strong he is. He’s technically not the most polished but he makes up for that with determination and brute force and strength.
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“His nickname is ‘The Juggernaut’ and I have to back him up on that, if you stand in his way he will run you down like an 18-wheeler, that’s for sure.”
Tyson Fury on Tony Yoka
“Technically he’s probably got better boxing skill than Joyce, but I have to confess – as I always tell the truth – I actually thought Joe Joyce beat him in the Olympic final but didn’t get the decision for whatever reason. It was close but I fancied that Joe did the better work to be fair.
“Yoka is a young guy also, he’s big – 6ft 7ins – athletic, he looks as if he can punch. The only thing I would say about Yoka is, he looks a little bit fragile to me in places. But I haven’t seen him under a real test so far so I can’t really judge the guy too much because I’ve never had the opportunity to work with him to see how strong he is or how he can take a punch or how much guts he’s got.
“In heavyweight boxing it takes more than having the skills and the size and the power. You need to have the heart and determination to keep coming, and have the ability to get knocked down and get back up again and just keep coming forward.
“There’s a lot of things needed to be heavyweight champion of the world. Not just gotta be good looking and in shape and big and can punch hard and do everything else and be Olympic gold medallist as well. But he’s definitely one for the future, that’s sure.”
Tyson Fury on Bakhodir Jalolov
“I’ve seen Jalolov, he’s a well-schooled amateur boxer. I know he’s had a lot of amateur fights and been to a lot of international tournaments. I watched a couple of his videos recently, he looks big and he looks like he can box. He’s been around, let’s say that, he’s got a lot of experience.
He’s definitely one for the future, but how old is he? Because as I’ve seen many times in Eastern European boxing, a lot of these amateur boxers stay amateur for ever and by the time they get to professional they’ve got about a million miles on the clock and they’re worn out. Oh, he’s only 26, he’s definitely one for the future.
“I always say for the Europeans, they don’t have the best skill in the world, but what they lack with skill they make up for with conditioning and strength. It’s always been a cliche that the Americans have all the skill and the Europeans have the conditioning.
“There’s only really been me who sort of ticks both boxes, because I’m conditioned like a European but I have the skill of an American. Let’s hope some of these guys can take after ‘The Gypsy King’.”