Boxing was made great by a series of super fights throughout the ages. Mohammed Ali took on Sonny Liston twice, “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier in Manilla, and George Foreman in Zaire. After that, Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler faced off, as did Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward. Let’s not forget about Jake LaMotta and Sugar Ray Robinson.
Unfortunately for the sport, mega-fights have been hard to come by in recent years. Currently, there’s one that stands out from the crowd – Anthony Joshua Vs Tyson Fury. Both are British and world champions, giving the bout extra spice. However, the obstacles appear to be getting in the way, and they’re quite significant.
Deontay Wilder & Oleksandr Usyk
Wilder and Usyk are the respective opponents for Fury and Joshua after Deontay Wilder refused to step aside for the two to meet. Everyone understands the American’s punching power, even if his boxing ability isn’t as strong as Fury’s. The boxing betting ranks the champ as the 3/10 favourite after the Brit knocked him out in their last fight, but it only takes one punch to upset the apple cart.
Usyk, on the other hand, is somewhat of an unknown quantity. The Ukrainian swept the cruiserweight division when he KOed Tony Bellew, becoming the first cruiserweight in history to hold all four major world championship belts. Again, Joshua is the favourite for their September bout at 4/11.
However, the odds distort the threat the Ukrainian poses because he’s relatively untried at heavyweight. If he can bring power to the table while keeping his speed, Joshua may struggle to hold on to his titles. Both men will need strong performances if they plan on meeting at some point in 2022.
The fight is between two British fighters who will potentially hold all the major championship belts in the division. Logically, it makes sense for the matchup to take place in the UK. Joshua, for example, has fought most of his opponents in London. Plus, Wembley Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have massive capacities, and the demand will be huge.
But, the word at the moment is that Saudi Arabia will get the first crack of the whip should the fight go ahead. After all, the original contest was due to take place in the kingdom before Wilder won his arbitration case. As a result, Eddie Hearn may feel as if he owes the Saudis one.
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have finalised the date for their undisputed heavyweight championship clash and will meet in a specially-created stadium ?
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 13, 2021
That will leave the British boxing fans devastated. One of the biggest fights in the sport’s history between two Brits should happen on these shores, yet it looks as if it isn’t going to be the case.
Something that’s out of everyone’s control is time. If Fury and Joshua were in their early or mid-20s, it may be easier to relax and accept the fact that they will touch gloves eventually. Unfortunately, the fighters are in their 30s.
They will only get older the longer the saga continues, with Fury potentially turning 34 by the time the fight takes place in 2022. The Gypsy King has already spoken about his desire to retire for the sake of his health, so it’s hard to see the boxer carrying on for too many more years.
In any case, no one wants to watch fighters who are past their primes. We watched Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao and it was a damp squib compared to what it may have been.
For the sake of the sport, we should cross out fingers and hope that these two great champions get to square off in the ring. It will be a massive disappointment if they don’t.