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A Fight For All 4 Heavy Belts - AT LAST! - OH...HANG ON....

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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 17 May 2021, 10:04 am

https://www.espn.co.uk/boxing/story/_/id/31456367/tyson-fury-says-fight-vs-anthony-joshua-take-place-aug-14-saudi-arabia

It seems that August 14th is the date and Saudi Arabia (as expected) will be the venue. As the old saying goes, "It's about go***mn time!"

So now the contracts have been drawn up, the money men have divided up what they want and Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum will be richer than a very rich man's slightly dodgy accountant, how do we all see this going?

My personal opinion is that too much is being made of Fury's boxing ability and a lot is being made of Joshua susceptibility to a heavy shot. This will be a much closer fight than many are predicting. Fury will not have it all his own way as per Wilder, because Deontay's fight relied on coming forward and throwing his big right hand. Joshua's not the be all and end all, far from it, but he has FAR better boxing ability than Wilder and has more concussive power than Fury does.

Fury of course, is no mug. He's shown time and again that he has the ability to win when nobody expects him to. His footwork and movement is good for a heavy, especially one of his size, and he loves a good fight. His whole fight plan relies on his confidence, and his propensity to second guess the other fighter's movement and next shots.

My thoughts? Fury will try very hard during the build-up to get under Joshua's skin and will do his best to unsettle him.We are likely to see AJ rattled during the pre-fight conferences mainly due to Fury being a master of annoyance and irritation. I think that AJ will come in at a similar weight to the second Ruiz fight so fairly light at 235-240lbs, whilst Fury will be about 265 - 270lbs, which he seems comfortable at.

The first couple of rounds are cagey, then Fury will start to find his range a bit more and will get into a rhythm, jab and move tactics. Eventually, about round 7, AJ starts to close the gap and find the target, and manages to put Fury down with an uppercut for a 6 count. He gets another knockdown but can't finish Fury off. Fury gets a cut in the 9th and it bothers him. AJ targets the cut causing Fury to go on the defensive. This costs him as he runs and pitter-pats, taking a few big shots. Eventually the 12th bell rings and AJ wins a razor-thin close split decision, meaning that the second fight is likely to be even bigger than the first.


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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 17 May 2021, 11:49 am

Nice write up and an interesting and forensic prediction, Bounce! Joshua on points isn't something which many would foresee but will make you a nice few quid if it happened, I imagine.

I'd say it's 60:40 in Fury's favour - I can't row along with the idea that it's his fight to lose or that he's a red-hot favourite being touted by some, largely due to some of the issues you've raised yourself.

The Wilder factor means that Fury's very best couple of wins are better than Joshua's, but on the other hand Joshua has a considerably bigger pool of good and solid wins over respectable opponents beneath that. The shocker against Ruiz aside, he's been very consistent over quite a lot of championship fights, both in terms of his performance level and his overall approach and tactics.

As a result I think we're a bit closer to 'knowing' how Joshua will fight than we are with Fury. He'll want to pace himself, close the gap so that he's got Fury in front of him and look to get into positions where they are both opening up and he can make his superior punching power count, with that straight right or the left hook to close off Fury's escape route.

With Fury there's a bit more guesswork involved. The two fights against Wilder were polar opposites in how he approached them. Even before then he's had fights where he's decided (or been forced to, depending on how you view it) to just go full caveman and turn it into a street fight where he uses his size and ability to shorten his punches inside to basically just power through whatever is being thrown back at him and walk his opponent down (Cunningham), and also ones where he's stayed on the outside, been elusive and confused guys with his movement and unorthodoxy (Wladimir).

Obviously he's been saying that he's going to repeat what he did to Wilder in the rematch, and take it to Joshua from the first bell, walk him down, rough him up on the inside where he's got a clear advantage and make him jack like he says he did in the first Ruiz fight. You can take that with a pinch of salt, of course, and not many believe that he's really going to go balls to the wall like that...But then again, not many people believed it when he said similar things before the Wilder rematch, but it turned out he did exactly that. Given Joshua's reputation for stamina issues and having to take breathers in fights, some are speculating that Fury might be well advised to go after him aggressively from the off and use those first three rounds or so to basically empty Joshua's tank and then pick him apart with his superior outside boxing once the pace slows and Joshua's steam has been taken out of him.

Could Fury win the fight like that? Possibly, but it's one hell of a gamble and I'm not sure it's too wise to look for direct comparisons between Wilder and Joshua. Sure, Fury effectively ran straight at the bigger puncher in Wilder and made it work brilliantly, but I think after the first fight he realised that Wilder's only hope was the straight right hand - if you take that away from him, which he did by denying him any punching range and keeping him on the back foot, he's pretty harmless.

Joshua has a much more complete attacking arsenal than Wilder. He can hook a lot better than Wilder and also has more variety to go with it, such as the uppercut. I also think that, while none of his punches might have the same devastating power as Wilder's straight right, he's clearly a better and more clinical finisher of an opponent once the time comes to close the show. If Fury fights Joshua aggressively then he's got a lot more punches and potential problems to worry about than he did against Wilder, for me.

If Fury is sharp and moving well then it's difficult to see Joshua outboxing him, especially as Fury doesn't flag in later rounds and has that natural stamina despite his ungainly physique. But I think he'll be mindful of wanting to guarantee that he makes enough of an impression with the judges - let's face it, given what we know about boxing and what we've seen so many times before, a fight of this magnitude carries a big risk of controversy on the scorecards if it goes the distance. I'd suggest he's probably better off looking to outscore Joshua and use his superior skills at range, but that means having to be very careful for the full twelve if he doesn't hurt or discourage Joshua at any stage.

Right now, gun to my head I'll take Fury on points but there's a lot of intrigue and different possibilities possible here, which is why it's such a mouth-watering contest. Just a shame it's not on these shores and that the build up is going to be unbearable.


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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 17 May 2021, 12:06 pm

I want, think and hope that AJ wins. I have no time whatsoever for Fury, he's a misogynistic homophobe and a known doper on top of that, the fact he has any reputation left intact is a poor indictment of modern society. Anyway small rant over and on to the fight itself.

I personally feel that AJ's boxing ability is somewhat under rated whilst Fury's is massively over rated in that regard, being awkward throwing punches with questionable technique do not do it for me. In the Chisora fight I felt he should have been spoken to by the referee for back handing his jab throughout. The most significant factor for me is that AJ punches very straight while Fury is wider with his, if he gets in close then that will see him landing his jab and right hand first where the power difference will take it's toll.

I don't really rate the Wilder win as anything special, aside from power Deontay is one of the worst champions I can ever remember, his technique is atrocious, i'd have backed an old Povetkin to knock him out within six.

If Fury tries repeating his performance in the second Wilder fight he's going to be eating right uppercuts all night long

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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 17 May 2021, 7:57 pm

What does everyone make of Fury's inactivity heading into this one?

Seems particularly pertinent as Fury was very vocal back in 2013 when they were scheduled to fight about Haye's inactivity, how this played right into his hands and how inactivity was a terrible thing for any fighter to be contending with going into a big fight, especially when you're getting a bit deeper into your thirties as Haye was at the time.

Here we are all these years later, Fury now more or less the same age as Haye was back then, and he's going into the biggest fight of his life having not fought in eighteen months. Given how vocal he's been on the pitfalls of inactivity in the past, I'm quite surprised he hasn't taken a tune up or keep-busy fight in 2021 to get some rounds in the bank and also get a decent training camp behind him to build on, because with Fury there's never any guarantee that he's been living the professional life in the interim, given his past lapses.

I get all that stuff about having no motivation to fight without the fans, no really exciting big names being available during the Covid slowdown, it not being all that financially worthwhile etc. But he knew that as soon as things started loosening up again, this date with Joshua was likely to be top of everyone's list of priorities. I wonder if he'll come to regret that later on.
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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 17 May 2021, 10:05 pm

It's an interesting point to raise Chris, and I hope for us fans that it doesn't become an issue. Last thing I'd want a Fury fan to see is for him to turn up out of shape, put in a limp performance, lose and take the money. Hopefully he's too professional for that, but there is that nagging doubt that his past demons could resurface.

I am certain that this is the reason that Joshua took 9 rounds to finish off Pulev. I think he knew he could end it any time he wanted from Rd 2 onwards, but he wanted the rounds in the bank. A sensible choice, it would seem. It wouldn't have been ideal to go into a fight against Fury on the basis of a 2-round blowout.

I think Fury could have done with a 10-rounder against a Kevin Jonhson type of survivor, just to get some rounds in and keep "in the game". Now the fight has been green lit, I expect both of them will be putting the hard yards in.

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Post by rapidringsroad Mon 17 May 2021, 11:14 pm

I've never picked Fury to win any of his fights. but time and time again he has proved me wrong. So this time I'm not going to stick my neck out as I think it's a 50/50 fight. Both have the ability to win and win or lose they will both make a shed load of money. It depends who wants to be remembered as a great. If Fury does get beaten badly I can't see him hanging around and being satisfied as a contender. I just hope it's a good fight and not like the Parker Chisora fiasco.

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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 17 May 2021, 11:32 pm

Good to see you dropping in, @rapidringsroad.

Yeah, the sport could really do with this one living up to expectations and proving a good spectacle. We haven't had many 'Super Fights' in the last decade or so, and some of the ones which have materialised have been pretty forgettable affairs and / or had unsatisfactory outcomes: Haye-Klitschko, Pacquiao-Mayweather, Golovkin-Alvarez etc.

One pleasant exception to that rule was Joshua-Klitschko, though, so hope springs eternal I guess. It's an increasingly popular way of operating these days, but I'm not a fan of these two-fight deals. No guarantee that a second fight will be in particular demand if one guy wins the first one easily, but more to the point I think it always leaves the door slightly ajar for a bit of skulduggery and a vested interest in drumming up some for of controversy to sell the return and make it even bigger. That's the cynic in me, I guess.
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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 17 May 2021, 11:35 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/boxing/57151854

BIG spanner in the works.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 17 May 2021, 11:52 pm

Good Lord, why?! I'd rather watch Canelo-Saunders II than watch Wilder smashed around the ring for a third time.

Hopefully Fury vacates the pointless WBC belt - like how Lewis vacated the WBA one to fight someone considered a better contender - and fights Joshua as planned in August.

Or...could he fight both? Wilder in August, Joshua in December?

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 18 May 2021, 12:17 am

I don't think there's any chance of Fury vacating the WBC belt, Duty. He won't want to concede any kind of ground to Joshua in terms of standing or prestige. Moreover I think all involved in making the fight will be desperate to keep all the major titles on the line for it - despite the kicking we regularly give the sanctioning bodies, having all the marbles on the table here is one of the biggest bonuses for this showdown.

I think a much more likely scenario is that Wilder gets a very juicy settlement to step aside, probably with the condition that he gets a crack at the winner within a certain time period afterwards as the article suggests. Similar (though not in scale) to Lewis being paid step-aside money back in 1996 when he was Tyson's WBC mandatory so that Tyson could take on Bruce Seldon for the WBA instead. In the end Tyson decided to go with the much bigger money fight in Holyfield afterwards, so Lewis had to make do with winning the vacated WBC belt instead, but there is no bigger money alternative here, so I think Wilder would be more than happy to take a settlement if they stump up enough cash.
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Post by Guest Tue 18 May 2021, 1:36 am

I’m hearing Wilder could be heading towards an 8 figure step aside fee. Some lunatics are suggesting he could get anywhere near $50m. Gotta be a joke right? Heck if I was getting $50m to move aside I’d take the money and retire.
Also I don’t understand how Wilder could be next for the winner if there’s a rematch. Plus mandatories for the other belts.

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 18 May 2021, 11:45 am

Apparently Shelly Finkel has been doggedly pursuing this arbitration case for a while. I thought that the timing of the announcement from him and the rest of Wilder's team about this - immediately after the fight between Joshua and Fury was 'signed' - was just them waiting for the moment to be as big a pain in the backside as possible, thus ensuring that Wilder got as big a payoff as possible.

But looking at some early reports, they might not be budging on this and it seems they are eager to honour the September 15th deadline for another Fury fight. I assumed Wilder and his people would be amenable to taking some step aside money...But then again you do forget that Wilder will be only just shy of turning 36 by September, so maybe he doesn't want to wait around.

It looks like Finkel and Haymon are pretty confident that they have a water-tight case here. Top Rank might have to throw one hell of a bone their way to stave this off if they keep pursuing it as resolutely as they seem to have done so far. The WBC belt itself seems to be irrelevant as far as this case is concerned - it's about fighting Fury again regardless of circumstances and what titles are on the line. So even if Fury vacates the WBC, it won't get him out of this jam.

I wasn't all that concerned when this new started breaking last night - having had a closer look, I am fearing that the big fight is going to be off. Fury might be well advised to get back in the gym and start preparing for Wilder in September.

If that's the case, then surely Joshua has to take on Usyk? Usyk has already been paid a bit of step-aside money himself while the promoters tried to make Joshua-Fury, and he's still got the WBO mandatory status, I believe.
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Post by Duty281 Tue 18 May 2021, 12:48 pm

Yeah, I think the only way Wilder steps aside is if he wants a nice retirement pay-off. Otherwise he'll view a third Fury fight as his last realistic chance for redemption and glory. But the only way I see him beating Fury is with a lucky punch or if Fury turns up complacent and uninterested.

It'll be a shame if Fury-Joshua doesn't happen. It's the only fight I'm remotely interested in seeing at HW.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 18 May 2021, 1:55 pm

What happened to media journalism?  It either appears to be reactive or pushing an agenda that suits them.  

What happened to the story being pushed by Tyson Fury's team that Deontay Wilder team hadn't taken up the option of the rematch clause in time and that it had lapsed allowing Fury to fight someone else.  The mainstream media seemed to focus only on the outlandish stories coming from Deontay Wilder about how he was cheated out of the fight to make it look like Wilder was crazy and not to be trusted.  Now it seems that was all a press smokescreen so they didn't have to report what was really happening behind the scenes.  That or it is just very lazy and cheap journalism.  Or maybe they are no longer into journalism and just focus on getting attention to increase circulation.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 18 May 2021, 2:59 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/boxing/57151854

BIG spanner in the works.

This sort of crap is all that is wrong with boxing - politics and squabbling amongst the various boxing associations.

It needs an overseer to govern for what is best for the sport and fans not for personal egos.

Wilder has already had two cracks at Fury and in all honesty got beat up both times. I don't care if he thinks there was an agreement between him and Fury - he needs to let his ego go and accept that this is the fight that the world wants. It is a fight to create a unified champion and one that is exciting for fans.

I really wish boxing would get its act together and realise we can do without multiple world champions at each weight and multiple boxing associations bickering like kids.
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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 18 May 2021, 3:03 pm

As much as I want to see AJ leave Fury face down on the canvas, you can't blame Wilder for putting his own career first and if the agreement was for a third fight then a third fight there must be. No different to Lennox Lewis taking Hasim Rahman to court to ensure an immediate rematch.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 18 May 2021, 3:41 pm

When AJ was fighting Pulev, Fury could have been fighting Wilder in a joint billing extravaganza.  Instead it is looking very like Tyson Fury pulled a Tyson Fury.  Fury was forgiven for pulling out of his rematch clause with Wladimir Klitschko because he revealed he had suicidal mental issues.  However Klitschko was left in limbo and having his time wasted.  It is looking like something similar happened with Deontay Wilder - an attempt to avoid a rematch clause.  So Wilder has been left in limbo trying to get the Fury team to honour the rematch clause.  Meanwhile the focus of the press has been to paint Wilder as a fantasist and fool. Note both Povetkin and Andy Ruiz fulfilled their rematch clauses to British fighters (Dillian Whyte & AJ).
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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 18 May 2021, 4:00 pm

I'm not sure about that, Bertie. I don't think Wilder and his team are totally blameless in all this becoming such a big mess.

Fair enough, he's got a contractual right to pursue another fight with Fury - but Christ alive, he's taken his sweet time in confirming that he wants to do so. The Povetkin-Whyte and Ruiz-Joshua rematches were signed and agreed within weeks of the first fight. Wilder on the other hand has spent fifteen months equivocating and never really committing until now.

To be fair to Fury, when the Joshua fight was first being mooted as 'agreed' or 'in the works' etc. last summer, he consistently said that while he'd agreed in principle, he wasn't getting carried away because he was sure he'd have to go through Wilder again first, and that Wilder was his most immediate priority. He said that consistently throughout 2020 so I don't think it's a case of him trying to pull a fast one and swerve that fight. I guess he felt he'd given Wilder long enough to decide and that he couldn't put things on hold anymore - whether or not he and his team genuinely thought there was a point of expiry for the agreement which had passed, as they claim, is another matter.

Fury's fault here is that he and his team really should have made absolutely sure that this was the case before they pressed ahead with serious Joshua negotiations, rather than operating on the basis that they 'think' the agreement had expired or that Wilder 'probably' didn't want to activate the rematch clause etc., which seems to be how they've operated on this one.

If the ruling stands then fair enough, Wilder should get another crack at Fury, but I think it's fair to say that he and his handlers have been far from transparent on this issue and that's one of the reasons it's become so messy.
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Post by No name Bertie Tue 18 May 2021, 5:14 pm

Eddie Hearn has made an announcement. He said he had reassurances from Bob Arum that this wasn't a problem four months ago when he began to try to get an AJ vs Tyson Fury fight deal. He said he doesn't know the intricacies of the arrangement Tyson team had with Wilder's team and he just had to accept it on trust what Bob Arum had told him - that the arbitration would lead to nothing because they were legally in the right. He goes on to say there is nothing he can do - the problem lies with Bob Arum and Tyson's team and that if they don't sort this out within two weeks max then it will be very likely AJ will be fighting Usyk (or someone else) instead in Saudi Arabia this August.
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Post by Duty281 Tue 18 May 2021, 10:53 pm

Hearing that July 24th in Las Vegas is the proposed setting for Fury-Wilder 3. August 21st or the 28th for Joshua-Uysk. Presumably the two winners can have a super-fight in November/December...hopefully a draw doesn't happen in either of those fights!

Can't see Uysk getting close to beating Joshua.

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 18 May 2021, 11:25 pm

I think Usyk-Joshua could be very interesting. Joshua could well blast him out early, but if he doesn't then I think Usyk is in with a chance. Quite a lot of people were underwhelmed by Usyk's performance against Chisora (I felt it was solid enough and didn't really understand some of the criticism, while accepting there was room for improvement). But while Chisora's obviously nowhere near the class of fighter that Joshua is, he is probably a worse style match-up for Usyk than Joshua.

If the fight goes a few rounds I could see Usyk out-boxing Joshua for a while...Until the moment he gets caught. That will be the key factor, because while Usyk's chin as a Cruiser was decent enough, getting clobbered by a heavy-handed 240-odd pounder like Joshua is a different kettle of fish entirely. Usyk's got all the skills and his defence is relatively good, but it's certainly not impenetrable and he likes to close the distance with his footwork and throw those combinations. Joshua will have his chances to land something big and I'm not sure Usyk will get through it.

I think Usyk, first and foremost, will just have to make it safety-first for two or three rounds and see where he goes from there. He's not the fastest starter so Joshua bombing him out quickly could be a real possibility. If he can settle into the fight he'll probably have his moments and make Joshua struggle a bit, even if he does get taken out later.

If he loses, but performs well in doing so and makes Joshua work for it, then he still looks like a viable Heavyweight contender / potential titlist at some point. If he gets steamrollered early doors then it kind of bursts the bubble around him and people will be saying his move up to Heavyweight was foolish.
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Post by Duty281 Sat 22 May 2021, 11:16 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/may/22/anthony-joshua-ordered-to-defend-his-wbo-title-against-oleksandr-usyk

Seems to be confirmed now that we're heading for a summer of Joshua-Usyk and Fury-Wilder 2. A defeat for either Joshua or Fury will kibosh any chance of Joshua-Fury happening.

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Post by Mr Bounce Sun 23 May 2021, 10:32 am

Yes. Fury has signed the Wilder fight for July.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 23 May 2021, 11:34 am

Duty281 wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/may/22/anthony-joshua-ordered-to-defend-his-wbo-title-against-oleksandr-usyk

Seems to be confirmed now that we're heading for a summer of Joshua-Usyk and Fury-Wilder 3. A defeat for either Joshua or Fury will kibosh any chance of Joshua-Fury happening.

Changed that for you. thumbsup
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Post by Derek Smalls Sun 23 May 2021, 1:23 pm

No name Bertie wrote:What happened to media journalism?  It either appears to be reactive or pushing an agenda that suits them.  

.  Now it seems that was all a press smokescreen so they didn't have to report what was really happening behind the scenes.  That or it is just very lazy and cheap journalism.  Or maybe they are no longer into journalism and just focus on getting attention to increase circulation.

It's a sign of the times, for sure."Shill" articles that basically set the agenda for the public are now the norm ,even in The Radio Times for its flagship bbc programmes (mention no names), as well as Disney and Marvel Universe product. On my Google feed its pretty much an algorithmic stream of spin.
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Post by Derek Smalls Sun 23 May 2021, 1:57 pm

I appear to be in a minority in that I am losing interest in the heavyweight unification between Joshua and Fury.
The 'tit-for-tat' clickbait slagoffs are beyond tiresome and it just smacks of showbiz nonsense a little too much.
Truth be told, I have never been a fan of Joshua, because of the crass hoopla that surrounded him from early doors. I DID really like the Joshua that turned up for the Ruiz rematch, however, and really enjoyed watching him move around the ring more,boxing clever.
In the past he was a bit too flat footed for my liking and the question marks over the Wlad fight were defiantly ignored by the public relations machine and thus the public at large. And quite why we needed to see him pumping his fist in the air for ten minutes before stepping into the ring apron, I will never understand. Credit where it's due though, I think that he was exemplary in his attitude and tactics when winning his belts back.
Fury, I have always thought, is the natural fighting machine.You can learn all you want along the way,but in my opinion he's one of the select few who instinctively knows how to box.Pace, he can be ad-hoc and do something spontaneously in the ring, making him a nightmare opponent every time.
As for his personality/persona, yes it's hard to stomach.I find myself wanting to invest less and less in a fighter who, on skills alone, I used to root for.

Chris , in your comment( right at the top), when you say that the intention is to make Joshua 'jack', do you mean to quit? I actually think that Fury might be banking on AJ doing a Tyson and giving in,in which case, this is where the Fury team have badly misjudged.He didn't
quit in the first fight ,his equilibrium was gone and he didn't know where he was, due to the punch to
that landed above his ear.He was clearly heard asking his corner what had just happened, afterwards.The Kronk-gleaned  advise for Wilder Two was spot-on, but in retrospect, should not really be seen as confucious-like wisdom, more like good old fashioned ring knowledge, that Dundee or Steward would dispense as standard.I wonder of Peter Fury thinks that he's some kind of guru.I just don't buy it that Joshua doesn't answer the 'intestinal fortitude' question well.
As Bounce says above, pretty insightfully, Joshua can take the fight to Fury with a headful of hard-won smarts, and  I suspect that Fury will be disabused of his notions of superiority overJoshua if and when they do manage to get around to it. And again I concur in the belief that it's 60/40 in Fury's favour. The question raised above of Fury's 18 month ring absence,well ironically it will be ended by an opponent with exactly the same amount of time off,in Wilder,of course. Not a bad tune-up fight then,and as long as he navigates that one,we have two fighters facing off in ship-shape condition. And I think we should thank our lucky stars for the AJ /Usyk match-up- That has the makings of a classic,  the more that I think about it. Perhaps we will be grateful of the interregnum.
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Post by 88Chris05 Sun 23 May 2021, 2:22 pm

Derek Smalls wrote:Chris , in your comment( right at the top), when you say that the intention is to make Joshua 'jack', do you mean to quit? I actually think that Fury might be banking on AJ doing a Tyson and giving in,in which case, this is where the Fury team have badly misjudged.

Yes, that's what I meant by it, Derek. Although I should stress again that I was speaking from Fury's point of view and how he'll present the argument etc.

I don't necessarily hold it against Joshua even if you do think he 'quit' in some form, though, and I think the whole outrage over a fighter supposedly deciding that enough is enough (whichever way they do it) gets overblown by a lot of fans. I can understand why fighters and direct competitors try to use it as a psychological tool against an opponent, a bit of one-upmanship and all that. And as fans I think we're free to give a fighter a bit of a kicking if they've clearly decided to lay down beforehand, or if they pack it in at the very first sign of trouble.

But if a fighter's given it a go, is swimming against an irreversible tide and has taken enough lumps, then I'm usually willing to cut them some slack, especially if they've never been in that situation and a bit of panic has visibly sunk in and possibly affected their judgement. The only relatively high-profile 'quit' I've had a bit of an issue with in the last few years was Walters against Lomachenko, because I don't think he was getting particularly badly hurt and I think it was more just his foolish pride and embarrassment at the fact that he'd not really given of his best which made him jack it in.
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Post by Derek Smalls Sun 23 May 2021, 2:33 pm

I see. No, I was actually trying to make the opposite point- that Joshua can't be accused of quitting given the circumstances! I think the whole ' he wont like it up him' is a dangerous belief if that's what the Furys really think...🤔
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Post by 88Chris05 Sun 23 May 2021, 2:42 pm

Oh yeah I know that's not what you were arguing specifically, Derek. By 'you' thinking Joshua quit or whatever I was referring more generally to boxing fans or pundits.

Personally I think Joshua had probably given up belief that he could win the fight, but would have willingly carried on taken more punishment or gone out on his shield had the referee waved him back into action after those latter knockdowns. I don't think he was looking for an easy way out. Two different things. We'll never know for sure, but of course Fury was always going to use it as ammo.
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Post by Herman Jaeger Sun 23 May 2021, 9:23 pm

If Teofimo Lopez moved up and Mikey moved down what a series of round robins you could have at 40 with Taylor and Prograis. Some classic fights for the ages

Get away from the Mayweather era and the obsession with if you lose your ‘0’ you’re finished

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Post by Herman Jaeger Mon 24 May 2021, 10:27 am

Obviously Lopez is staying at 35 for at least two more fights and Taylor might move up but don’t think we need a Ramirez rematch anytime soon. It was more a domination than clear-cut. Ramirez was just building up a head of steam before the first knockdown but you could say that’s the sign of a good fighter producing it at precisely the right moment to turn the fight. Read somewhere else they thought it’s a weak division, couldn’t disagree more. Taylor and Prograis are very good. Taylor should get rid of Arum, he hardly looked overjoyed Taylor won. Taylor won even without the knockdowns and Bob calling it a 6-6

Taylor can’t turn down the Crawford payday obviously but I’d much rather see fights with any of the names I’ve already mentioned. He doesn’t need to move up for the moment there’s too much talent around at 40. The Catterall fight is quite a good fight too, Catterall’s a very good boxer

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 25 May 2021, 8:41 pm

Rumours abound that Joshua will relinquish the WBO title rather than face Usyk in August / September as was (apparently) he and Hearn's original contingency plan.

Pretty disappointing if true, so I'm hoping that doesn't come to pass. Based on what Hearn was saying the other day, it was either Usyk at Wembley / Spurs' Stadium or someone else in the States. If it's the Stateside option then he mentioned Luis Ortiz as a possibility....No thanks, Eddie.

It may well have been forced on him, but like it or not Fury is still fighting one of the biggest and most dangerous guys in the division in Wilder. I'd have thought Matchroom wouldn't want to be upstaged in that respect and would have made sure they went with Usyk as he's by far the most interesting (and very possibly the most challenging) fight out there for Joshua outside of Wilder and Fury. Don't allow the chance of Fury being able to potentially lord it over them with another win over Wilder - who Joshua has somehow never got around to fighting despite it apparently being in Mathroom's sights since 2017 - while they're taking a relatively safe outing.

Not to mention that if the WBO does become vacant, it removes just that teeny, tiny little bit of extra cachet from any eventual Joshua-Fury fight as it won't quite be for full undisputed status. Obviously any winner would still be very much 'the man', but nevertheless another little something for us fans to moan about, I guess.

I'm still hopeful they'll go with Usyk.
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Post by Mr Bounce Tue 25 May 2021, 9:54 pm

That's stupid if they do. I suppose one possibility is that the WBO number 2 contender is Joe Joyce, so Joyce/Usyk for the relinquished belt and if Joe wins that, a different All-British unification bout. I wonder if this is because they think that Fury won't go for the 4 belt fight or they think he'll lose to Wilder?

It does seem a bit odd losing the belt. I think they're trying not to fight Usyk because he isn't a draw.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 25 May 2021, 10:13 pm

A rematch with Dillian Whyte or a third fight with Ruiz have also be stated as possibles by Eddie Hearn. The only fight that makes sense, with Fury unavailable, is against Uysk.

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Post by Herman Jaeger Tue 25 May 2021, 11:23 pm

He’s an also ran in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s let’s keep it a hundred

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Post by Herman Jaeger Fri 28 May 2021, 2:08 pm

Doesn’t really give off a premium feel relinquishing to Usyk coz he’s too good a boxer

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 28 May 2021, 2:23 pm

In actual terms Luis Ortiz is the riskier fight. Usyk is a non event at heavyweight who would be steamrolled by AJ, not surprised they can't be bothered with it, doesn't prepare him for a potential Fury fight at all.

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Post by Herman Jaeger Fri 28 May 2021, 2:37 pm

All about unifying you see

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Post by Herman Jaeger Fri 28 May 2021, 3:22 pm

Ortiz riskier than Usyk dear oh dear

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 28 May 2021, 3:39 pm

Ortiz troubled Wilder twice, Usyk struggled with Chisora. Dear oh dear indeed.

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Post by Herman Jaeger Fri 28 May 2021, 3:49 pm

Styles makes fights not an expression you’re familiar with is it

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 28 May 2021, 4:29 pm

Great insight again Herman. So we ignore that Ortiz has given a top level heavyweight a run for his money twice because Usyk was a decent cruiserweight who looks simply too small for AJ.

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Post by Herman Jaeger Fri 28 May 2021, 8:11 pm

Usyk could make him look silly, that’s got to be the concern for Team Joshua

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Post by Mr Bounce Sat 29 May 2021, 4:52 pm

Herman Jaeger wrote:Usyk could make him look silly, that’s got to be the concern for Team Joshua

Usyk barely made Chisora look silly. I don't really think he'll do that with Joshua. Usyk is good, and technically brilliant, but he does not have a big punch, and THAT is a big thing to be lacking at Heavy. I think AJ could simply walk straight through what Usyk is throwing.

I don't care how good you were at Cruiser - a big heavy's punch is something else - ALL the half decent and good cruisers (title holders) who went to heavy - Haye, Holyfield, Gomez, Cunningham, Adamek, even McCrory if you fancy a giggle - they all ended up on the floor at some point when faced with a 6 foot 6 + behemoth.

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Post by Herman Jaeger Sun 30 May 2021, 9:01 am

Surprised to hear any talk of relinquishing, it goes against his whole ethos. I’m sure it’s only a bargaining ploy though. Im fairly certain it will be Usyk and Joshua will show himself a true champion

Tbh haven’t seen Usyk since the Briedis, has he not been impressive? Certainly the lack of power might be a hindrance against some of the bigger guys but that doesn’t mean he can’t beat a few of them on points and beat them decisively too

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Post by 88Chris05 Sun 30 May 2021, 10:08 am

I thought a bit too much got made of Usyk's supposed struggles against Chisora. It wasn't a sparkling performance but it wasn't a particularly competitive fight either. Definitely not a close one in any case.

Sky tried to spin the same narrative as they did with the Bellew fight because Chisora 'won some rounds' or 'landed some shots' etc. I don't think that's particularly significant when those rounds are basically the first two in which Usyk tends to throw little and tries to get a read on his opponent. Just like in the Bellew fight, after the first two or three rounds it was one-way traffic. Usyk took some right hands early but adjusted and Chisora landed precious little of note after the early stages. Usyk beat him a hell of a lot more convincingly and impressively than Parker did.

Joshua might overpower Usyk, and if he does fair enough. I'd still give him much more credit for that than I would for beating someone as average as Ortiz. Size matters in boxing but so do skills and athleticism, and Usyk brings a hell of a lot more of those to the table than Ortiz does. I want to see Joshua in with something a bit different and someone who hasn't been beaten yet if we're having to wait for the Fury fight.
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Post by Mr Bounce Sun 30 May 2021, 11:53 am

I take your points Chris - what I was saying was he did not make Chisora look silly. If he is as good as is lauded, I am not sure that Dereck would have laid a glove on him. Maybe he had an "Off" day. Chisora is European level at best and several layers below those at the top. I think that Usyk will have to be several times better than in the Chisora fight in order to do enough to win the belts.

I think though, that a couple of big punches from Joshua and Usyk's gameplan will be a bit more "get on the bike" than expected. He may go into survival mode. As they say in the US - a good big 'un usually beats a good little 'un.

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Post by Herman Jaeger Sun 30 May 2021, 4:19 pm

There’s another expression, you might have heard it, the bigger they are, the harder..

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Post by Mr Bounce Sun 30 May 2021, 9:34 pm

Yes that is very true, but to go to n opponent's backyard. with a unified title, Usyk is going to have to win by a landslide to take those belts - he's not knocking Joshua out anytime soon. I just don't see it.

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Post by Herman Jaeger Mon 31 May 2021, 10:26 am

Like it or not, Eddie doesn’t want the Usyk fight.
It’s very risky.


Eddy: ‘Part of him thinks beating Usyk is an incredible name on the resume’


No going back now, Usyk won’t price himself out either he’s been after this fight for months

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