Much of the boxing talk is once again focused on a potential 2021 fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua for the undisputed world heavyweight championship, and while there are very clear, very real reasons that it might not come next, Tyson Fury is doing what Tyson Fury probably should after Joshua’s ninth round stoppage of Kubrat Pulev on Saturday.
“Joshua just shit hisself live on television. He got asked did he want the fight, and he went around the bushes and put his ass in the hedge,” Fury said on social media. “I want the fight! I want the fight next! I’ll knock him out inside three rounds. He’s a big, bum dosser!”
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO) has no ordered or mandatory challenger set for his one title (WBC), and won’t any time soon, unless Deontay Wilder gets his way. Joshua (24-1, 22 KO) does have a mandatory for the WBO belt, one of the three he owns, in Oleksandr Usyk. Usyk is expected to push for his shot next. And, again, I still think the smart money is on Joshua-Usyk in the spring, while Fury fights someone else, and then maybe by the end of 2021 we can get Fury-Joshua. Timing in terms of money and potentially filling a stadium is probably a lot better for late 2021, too.
But we’ll see. People are going to think what they want to think here, whether it’s about Fury or about Joshua or about how much the belts matter compared to simply the fight itself. But being able to legitimately tag “undisputed” on a fight genuinely does matter for the more casual fan, especially at heavyweight. That’s not to say Fury-Joshua isn’t a huge fight in Dubai or somewhere in April or May if Joshua decided to chuck the WBO belt or all three belts for that matter, but the biggest this fight can be is with all four belts, and they all know that, including Fury.
If delaying Mayweather-Pacquiao for roughly 49 years until we finally saw them fight taught the boxing world anything, it’s that you can basically hype a fight forever and even if you keep disappointing everyone, if the fight has big names, it has big names, and it’ll sell when you get around to it. Fury-Joshua ain’t Mayweather-Pacquiao in name value, but it’s an easy sell, and really, a year from now isn’t so bad when you consider some of the other waits we’ve endured.