Following the breakdown in negotiations between Fury v Joshua, BestofBets.com spoke to Tony Bellew about the bout and why it may just still be on…
In your opinion, do think the Fury v Joshua fight is dead in the water?
Tony: “It’s an interesting one and although I’m not sure how keen Fury is to actually fight Joshua, I think the negotiations were very far down the line, although not signed by AJ’s camp, so the introduction of a deadline and scaremongering about the fight now not taking place, could be very smart tactics to ramp up as much publicity and buzz as possible seeing that the fight is just weeks away on the 3rd December.
“The fact that it’s the end of September already and a fight like this needs a lot more than a couple of months build up – in fact, much more! Something of this magnitude needs to be built up slowly and gradually, giving boxing fans a proper insight in the run-up to the fight – from press conferences to behind-the-scenes footage in training camps and other stories. And even though we know a lot about these two fighters already, it does need a big, big build up. And it’s impossible to get that done between now and then…unless you go down this route where you know that even people who aren’t that interested in boxing will now be interested to see what happens with this fight – I mean they’ve build an audience around this ‘drama’ that we haven’t seen before. So perhaps, there is a glimmer of hope in this saga after all. We’ve seen crazier things happening in boxing.
“At the end of the day, should this fight be confirmed, that is one crazy build-up; but effective. And whilst ’negotiations’ are taking place, we’re watching Fury and AJ’s every single step so mission accomplished.
“Controversial – yes. Impossible – no!”
Usyk is an incredible fighter, everyone knows it and everyone can see it. So, do you think Tyson Fury is the only man that could beat Usyk at the moment?
Tony: “Well it depends – as if Deontay Wilder lands that punch, he’s going to win. You can never write him off but I’m not sure that fight will happen. Personally, Usyk has enough on his plate and he’ll only fight if he knows that he gets something out of it, such as Fury’s belts. Otherwise, for him, it’s pointless. Different from Fury who’s all about the chat on social media; Usyk isn’t like that.
“Having said that, Tyson, judging by his size, should beat anyone. If I was six foot nine and weighed 20 stone, I’d invade Russia, never mind f***ing box. So, when you’re that big and that heavy, you should not be beaten.
“It’s a very true saying, a good big man will always beat a good little man, it’s just how good can the little man be. I believe Oleksandr Usyk is the only person right now who’s got a thoroughbred chance of defeating Tyson Fury. I believe Fury can lose, because I’ve seen him on the floor and hurt too many times to weaker fighters and lesser fighters than himself. I’ve seen him pushed all the way. So, I do believe other people could beat Tyson Fury, but I do think there’s only one person that could beat Oleksandr Usyk.”
When the announcement of the negotiations for Fury and Joshua were made, fairly soon after, Usyk called out [Deontay] Wilder essentially. Do you think he’s trying to dodge Fury? Is he looking for an easy opponent? Does he want to hold the title for longer?
Tony: “Fury is the greatest heavyweight of his generation right now. However, for him to really truly define an era and a generation, he has to defeat Oleksandr Usyk. And considering Usyk is just a middleweight, I don’t see a problem really. But for some reason, Fury is worried, which is why he’s not taking the fight and instead, at that point he opted for AJ, which is a strange move.
“But anyone he beats next, whether it’s [Manuel] Charr or AJ or anyone else, he has to beat Usyk so technically, any other fight is pointless and would simply be a cash grab. And if it’s all about cash, the wisest move would to have gone ahead with the AJ fight.”