IS ANTHONY JOSHUA DUCKING DEONTAY WILDER AS TYSON FURY CLAIMS?

Bayo Akinnagbe

Heavyweight fighter Tyson Fury (27-0-1,19KOs) loves to run his mouth about his opponents in order to hype and generate interest among fans for a future showdown. You’ve got to give Fury all the credit he deserves though, because he is a fighter who can brag outside the ring and actually back up his boast with a good showing against any opponents.

After his entertaining rumble with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1,39Kos) in December, which ended in a draw, Fury, who had to get off the canvass twice after being decked by his opponent, accused Anthony Joshua (22-0,21Kos), the three-belt unified heavyweight champion of ducking the Virgnia born champ.

“It’s no secret that Joshua did not want this fight, and he didn’t want it for a reason — because Deontay Wilder is the most fiercest puncher in boxing history, in heavyweight division history. And I saw that, and I felt it,” said Fury, who became only the second opponent to push Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) the distance in his 41 fights. “No wonder AJ didn’t want no part of that right hand. He can’t move like me. He’d have been nailed,” ESPN Dan Rafael quoted Fury as saying.

It is true that the Joshua and Wilder teams were in talks for a possible showdown last year, but those talks broke down because Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn did not finalize the deal. To suggest as Fury did that Joshua was scared to get into the ring with Wilder is nuts.

Fury, who hit the canvass in the 12th round of his fight with Wilder and barely beat the count from the referee, believes Joshua cannot take a Wilder punch and get back up like he did in that fight.  He also thinks Joshua’s lack of quick lateral movement in the ring would make him an easy target for Wilder’s devastating right hand.

“[Joshua] can’t move, so he would have never got out of the way of Wilder,” Fury said. “Wilder’s got lightning fists and dynamite in his hands. Great fighter. I respect him a lot.,” ESPN quoted Fury as saying.

Maybe Fury is jealous of the fact that Joshua is regarded around the world as the undisputed heavyweight champion, because  there is no reason for him to think that Joshua is ducking Wilder.  Oh, by the way, both Joshua and Fury had faced a common opponent in the past: Wladimir KlitschkoIn 2015, Fury managed to win a split decision over Klitschko, while Joshua engaged in an entertaining, epic battle at Wembley Stadium in front 90,000 screaming fans against the Ukraine born former champion.  In that fight , Joshua proved he could absorb a nasty punch and come back to knock out an opponent.  In the fifth round Klitschko got knocked down  from a barrage of  shots by Joshua, but rallied to end the round on his feet.

In round six, the wily Klitschko,  one of the longest reigning former boxing champions of all time, connected with a right that put Joshua on his butt for the first time in his career. But Joshua proved in the sixth round that he had the intestinal fortitude to overcome adversity. The young champion, who won a gold medal for England in the 2012 Olympics, got in the groove again in the 11th round, knocking Klitschko down twice and was pummeling him on the ropes before the referee stepped in to save the former heavyweight champion from further punishment.

Joshua has said he wants to fight Wilder, and boxing fans can’t wait for these two fighters to meet in the ring and settle the debate as to who is the baddest heavyweight fighter in the world. Bayo Akinnagbe is the publisher/principal reporter of the NigeriaPressReview.Com

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