Tyson Fury has appeared to bury the hatchet with heavyweight rival Anthony Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn as the ‘Gypsy King’ eyes a fight with his British rival, holder of the WBO/IBF and WBA titles, next year if he defeats Deontay Wilder on Saturday in Los Angeles in a bid for the WBC crown.
“I think AJ’s awesome,” Fury told The Sunday Telegraph. “As a fan and a boxing enthusiast, I think he’s an awesome specimen of a man. We’ve met many times. I don’t say we don’t get on. We’re in the same division, we don’t want to get too friendly. But I think he’s awesome. What he’s done for boxing and for his family is awesome. I admire that.
“Anybody who is successful at what they do means they’ve put in sacrifices and worked their nuts off to be there. Anybody like that deserves so much respect and ten times more than they ever get. I know how hard boxing is and I know how hard they all work to be where they are. They need applauding for it.”
There was a similar take with Hearn, against whom Fury has previously had a very public beef. “As for Eddie Hearn, and if I like him or not, I think he’s a decent bloke to be honest. He’s funny, charismatic, young, good looking, tall, well dressed – everything that a good promoter should be. I don’t dislike Eddie, I think he’s a good fella. When I’ve been in his company, we’ve always had a good chat and a laugh. I understand it’s just business.”
Fury believes a contest between himself and Joshua would be huge, but the 6ft 9ins tall heavyweight believes the Matchroom set-up may look to avoid him. “It seems to me that they never talk about fighting Tyson Fury. It seems to be this is a one way deal. I want the fight, because I don’t want to deprive the public.”
But Fury was clear about one thing: Joshua would struggle against him, in his view. “He has awesome power, strength, body and mass and everything that goes with that, but he doesn’t have my boxing ability. And anyone who knows boxing will admit that to be the truth. And unless he catches me with a big punch, he can’t win. He isn’t going to outpoint me. I’m a very slick customer. It’s a very awkward fight for him. Even the worst Tyson Fury that’s ever been would give him a hard night because styles make fights.”
Fury even commented on a potential fight between Joshua and Wilder. “Without being biased towards the British guy, I think Wilder’s all wrong for Joshua. He’s very tall and rangey, and he’s got dynamite in his hands. And Joshua, if you throw five punches, you’ll probably hit him with four. He blocks with his hands. He’s got the classic style of defence where he catches and counters. He walks forward.
“With someone like Wilder, you can’t afford to stand there and take them punches. Because no matter how strong you are, he’ll get them shots through. Whoever wins between me and Wilder will then go and fight Joshua and be victorious. Not because Joshua is terrible, but me and Wilder are all wrong for Joshua.”