Tyson Fury once admitted he got 'battered' by Anthony Joshua during one-off boxing sparring session

-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

The boxing world awaits the day when long-time heavyweight rivals Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua finally put it all on the line in the ring.

Despite numerous attempts to make the fight down the years, nothing has come to fruition, and with both fighter approaching their mid-30s, time is running out for fans to see what would surely be one of the biggest showdowns in the history of the sport. However, unbeknown to most, Fury and Joshua have locked horns in a sparring session before, and as the story goes, two-time heavyweight world champion Joshua came out on top.

The session took place at the Finchley Boxing Club back in 2010, with Fury two years into his career as a professional while Joshua was still battling it out in the amateur ranks. At the time, Fury had racked up an 11-0 record and had just defeated John McDermott in their rematch for the English heavyweight title. Eager to maintain his winning streak, Fury penned a guest column in Boxing News magazine, challenging any sparring partners who could knock him out to step forward, with the reward being an expensive Rolex watch.

Although Joshua didn't manage to knock him out, Fury admits he was 'battered' by AJ for three rounds. Recalling the session a few weeks later, Fury told BBC Radio London: "I went down to Finchley Boxing Club and I sparred with the ABA champion, Anthony Joshua. He's red hot, him, he's very good. To be honest with you, I thought to myself, 'I'm only going to take it easy as he's an amateur and we probably won't spar again if I go mad.'

"He's rushed out at me, he threw a one-two and a left hook and I slipped. I thought, 'He's not that good, I'm going to take my time.' Then bash, he gives me a big uppercut right on the point of the chin. If I'd have had a bit of a weak chin like David Price, I'd have been knocked out for a month.

"He's very, very good and he's only young, 20, watch out for that name Anthony Joshua he is one prospect for the future. He came out at me for three rounds and he gave me a beating - I'm not going to deny it, he gave me hell for leather for three rounds. I thought 'Oh my god, an amateur is killing me.'

Being a professional, and I've been an amateur myself and fought all over the world, I slowed him down a bit with a few good body shots. The kid's only 20, and I'm a handful myself, so for him to put up a good performance like that against a top prospect in me, I think he's one for the future."

In 2016, Joshua gave his side of the story but chose not to delve into the same detail as Fury did. "I just got my head guard on, gum shield in, and we just cracked on," he told Sky Sports.

"Me and him just had a straight war. What I learned about Fury is we've got the same heart. We're both fighting people and we go to war.'I didn't manage to knock him out. We both hit each other with some big shots, powerful shots."