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The Big Question: Who wins Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua?

It’s the heavyweight fight everyone wants to see. So who wins if and when we see it?

Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images and Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Last week’s Big Question covered a hypothetical matchup, sorta, as we asked who you have ranked No. 1 at 147 pounds now that we’ve seen Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford fight again.

39 percent of you went with “Bud” Crawford, the WBO titleholder who has also won belts at 135 and 140, and is considered by some to be the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. 36 percent of you chose Spence, the WBC and IBF titlist who has probably scored the better wins at 147, however you slice it.

But this is what’s most interesting to me: 25 percent say to just call it even until they actually get in the ring and fight each other. I think that indicates not just how close a call it is, but also a sincere frustration from boxing fans. We want that fight. We want it now. It’s what they should be doing, political explanations and all other BS aside. And while I personally am ready to put more of the blame on the fighters themselves instead of just promoters and whatnot, no matter how you look at the situation, it’s time. It’s been time.

Anyway, this week’s question deals with another thing that probably isn’t going to happen next, the much-desired undisputed heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. It’s all the talk after Joshua’s win Saturday over Kubrat Pulev. AJ and Eddie Hearn are talking about it, Fury is talking about it, Bob Arum is talking about it, the fans want it.

But as unfortunately laid out already, it’s not likely to be next. The smart money is still on Joshua fighting WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk in the spring, Fury fighting someone around the same time, and maybe Fury-Joshua for all the marbles in late 2021. Even if Joshua didn’t have the mandatory due, everyone is going to want the ability to pack a stadium, whether it’s Wembley or a temporary construction in Saudi Arabia or Dubai or somewhere. Waiting for the COVID pandemic to more fully pass might be the play logistically.

Now, listen, I honestly do think — here’s some rare full optimism — that Fury-Joshua will get done pretty easily whenever the time is right. I think both fighters genuinely want to do it, and I think the three promoters (Hearn for Joshua, Arum and Frank Warren for Fury) will almost shockingly easily put it together, because it’s really not that hard to get done when there’s (1) big money and (2) fully willing combatants.

But forget “when” for a moment and let’s just focus on the matchup. Who wins?

Is Fury too long, tall, crafty, skilled, and smart? Would AJ be able to get there and use his power to pull what would surely be an upset on the sports books? I hate to reduce it to that, and maybe you see something I don’t, but I have a hard time seeing Joshua, who is a good straight-up boxer, out-boxing a guy like Fury, who is a real odd duck of a fighter, with a skill set combined with size that I don’t know that we’ve ever seen before. He’s a tall, heavy man who moves far more fluidly than Joshua, who looks like the better athlete, but is comparatively a bit stiff, which goes for basically all heavyweights against Fury.

It is heavyweight, and one fight can just end it more than in any other division in the sport. And it’s not like Joshua is quite so one-dimensional as Deontay Wilder, either.

We did this poll in the March Mania fantasy tournament back in the early days of COVID 392491430943 years or nine months ago, AJ got a shock win there because the internet rules and there was some obvious ballot stuffing. Maybe that happens again here, maybe not, More important than just casting a vote, tell us WHY you see it going one way or another, tell us how you see it going down.


Who wins Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Tyson Fury
    (1427 votes)
  • 22%
    Anthony Joshua
    (416 votes)
1843 votes total Vote Now

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