Still fresh from his victory over Tom Schwarz on 16th July, Tyson Fury made all the right impressions on his United States debut when he beat his German counterpart in the second round at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. It wasn’t just Fury’s ring walk that generated a huge talking point on social media, but his brilliant performance further highlighted his potential dominance in the heavyweight division.
Previously, it appeared that Anthony Joshua was going to lead the way for British heavyweights but after his surprise defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden, the former world champion has plenty of work to do to redeem himself after the shock defeat. AJ’s US debut certainly didn’t go as planned, but can Fury’s continued excellence provide the motivation needed to reinstall Joshua as Britain’s number one heavyweight?
Although the boxing world was shocked by AJ’s mauling at the hands of Ruiz Jr, it almost felt like it was coming, owing to his cagey and somewhat unimpressive last couple of bouts. In all honesty, AJ hasn’t looked up to his usual high standards since he beat Vladimir Klitschko for the WBA and IBO belts back in April 2017. Since then, Joshua has won against Carlos Takem (10th round, TKO), Joseph Parker (unanimous decision) and Alexander Povetkin (7th round TKO) but he didn’t look like the up-and-coming fighter we once knew.
Presuming that AJ was watching Fury’s win over Schwarz, he’ll be more than aware that he needs to bring his a-game to his next fight to have any chance of restoring himself to his former glories. Granted, the pressure might have been building on AJ to beat anyone put before him, but now is the time for him to reassess his latest performances and rediscover the confidence that used to bode so well.
From Joshua’s perspective, it’s an understatement to say the last few weeks have been tough on the Watford-born bruiser. Fury’s recent installation as the Ring’s number one heavyweight will have hurt Joshua, but now the ball is in his court to reclaim the spot. Fury is proving more popular than ever before, with his entertaining antics and undoubted ability to mix it with the best boxers in the world. It’s likely that a rematch with Deontay Wilder will happen sooner rather than later and it was obvious the first dual was unfairly scored a draw, with Fury the slightly better of the two.
It’ll be a long time before Joshua can entertain the idea of fighting the likes of Fury and Wilder, with the rematch with Ruiz Jr set for later this year, but a victory over the Mexican champion will provide the springboard AJ needs. In essence, he almost needs to ignore who the likes of Fury and Wilder are intending to fight and focus on hitting his own high notes again. If anything, Fury’s re-emergence should provide plenty of ammunition for Joshua to get back to the top of his game.
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