‘Vulnerable’ Anthony Joshua unlikely to fight Tyson Fury, says Frank Warren

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Fight promoter Frank Warren doubts that the much-anticipated heavyweight boxing match between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua will take place after the latter’s lacklustre defeat to Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night.

Joshua was beaten by the Ukrainian on a unanimous points decision, finishing the fight defending against the ropes from a flurry of Usyk punches. The 31-year-old lost the IBF, WBO, and IBO titles he had held for almost two years, and now Warren, who once managed Fury, says the gulf between the two fighters right now makes a meeting very unlikely.

“I don’t see it happening now,” he told BBC Sport.

“If it did happen, what would Tyson have done to him? It wouldn’t have gone 12 rounds. Tyson would have destroyed him. Absolutely. The unification fight was there, such a big fight. Heartbreaking.

“What would Tyson Fury had done to Joshua? A better chin, bigger puncher.”

Warren also commented on the nature of Joshua’s defeat to Usyk, who was fighting in only his third heavyweight bout having made the transition from the cruiserweight division.

“Usyk is a good fighter, he boxed extremely well,” Warren said.

“But that was my thing about this fight - Joshua is so vulnerable. He’s been like that for ages.”

Joshua went into the fight as the strong favourite, having only lost once before in his professional career, being stopped by Andy Ruiz Jr. in the first of two consecutive fights in 2019.

“I thought Joshua would be too big for Usyk, but I knew if he was there at the end, then he’s been outboxed. Usyk nearly had him over at the end.”

“He was gun shy. Never let his hands go. They can talk all they want about rematches. He’s just been totally exposed, like he was against Ruiz. How can he be getting outjabbed by Usyk, who was taking the fight to him? I was shocked at that.

“Even if he was to beat Usyk, what is Tyson Fury going to do to Joshua? You’d have your house on Tyson beating him.”

The bout between Fury and Joshua had been expected to take place in Saudi Arabia in 2022, after a postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a possible re-match in the UK to follow.

Usyk’s confident and assured victory, though, throws those plans into significant doubt now.

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