Fury questions heavyweight rival Joshua: He's got a confidence issue

By Sports Desk January 04, 2021

Tyson Fury doubts Anthony Joshua's knockout power and claims his heavyweight rival has a confidence issue, having avoided fighting him "for a long time". 

The two British boxers appear on course to finally face each other after Joshua was victorious over Kubrat Pulev in December, stopping the Bulgarian in the ninth round of their bout at Wembley Arena. 

Both sides agreed in principle to a two-fight deal for 2021, though details over a date and venue for an initial bout are still being discussed.

After seeing off Pulev, IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua vowed to beat Fury when they finally go toe to toe, insisting he will take his "head off his shoulders" in the long-awaited showdown. 

However, in an interview with Fox Miami, the holder of the WBC title questioned Joshua's ability to back up his words. 

 "I don't think he's as good as people crack him up to be, or he doesn't believe he is, his own self. He's got a confidence issue," Fury said. 

"The fight has been brewing for a long time. They've been avoiding me for a long time. Now it's finally got to happen. 

"I've never seen him take anybody's head off anybody's shoulders in all of his 22 fights. It's probably a lie, another lie. We'll see if he's got the guts to try and do it." 

Fury had hoped to get in a bout before the end of 2020 - a year in which the boxing schedule was badly hampered due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic - only to shelve that plan.

The 32-year-old has not fought since February of last year, when he sensationally stopped the previously unbeaten Deontay Wilder in their rematch in Las Vegas.

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  • Whyte pulls out of Wallin fight with shoulder injury Whyte pulls out of Wallin fight with shoulder injury

    Dillian Whyte has been forced to cancel his heavyweight clash with Otto Wallin on October 30 due to a shoulder injury, promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed on Wednesday.

    The fight with Sweden's Wallin, set to take place at the O2 Arena in London, was the main event on an impressive card with Whyte set to return to action for the first time since beating Alexander Povetkin in March.

    However, a shoulder injury sustained in training has forced the postponement of the fight and it remains unclear whether the clash will be rescheduled.

    The winner was in line to face the undefeated Tyson Fury for the WBC heavyweight crown in 2022, though Whyte's next bout may still be against the 'Gyspy King' should the meeting with Wallin be called off completely.

    The WBC had ruled that the winner of Fury and Deontay Wilder's trilogy fight would have 30 days to agree on a bout with IBF, WBA and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk, or face the reigning interim champion - the winner of Whyte versus Wallin.

    However, Anthony Joshua has triggered a rematch clause to ensure he fights Usyk again in 2022, opening the door for Whyte or Wallin to step up.

    Should Whyte be required to challenge Wallin in a rearranged clash, defeat will once again throw a spanner in the works for the Briton, despite him currently ranking as the WBC's interim challenger.

    Whyte has encountered similar problems before while waiting for a world title shot, having been knocked out by Povetkin in 2020 before recovering in the rematch between the pair.

  • Joshua trains with Tyson's former coach Shields after Usyk defeat Joshua trains with Tyson's former coach Shields after Usyk defeat

    Anthony Joshua is visiting various trainers across the United States as he looks to potentially alter his coaching set-up ahead of his rematch with Oleksandr Uysk.

    Joshua's tactics were scrutinised after he lost his IBF, WBA and WBO belts to the undefeated Uysk, who collected a unanimous decision at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.

    The two-time former unified world heavyweight champion must now triumph in his rematch, likely in March 2022, to reclaim his belts after the second defeat of his professional career.

    Trainer Robert McCracken, who was criticised for allowing Joshua to attempt to outbox Usyk, has worked with the 2012 Olympic champion for the entirety of his professional career but the 32-year-old has been pictured working in gyms across the USA as he scouts for a potential new trainer.

    Virgil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso and most recently Ronnie Shields - who worked with both Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield – have all been seen with Joshua and the latter trainer confirmed the rumours the Briton was in the market for a new appointment.

    "They reached out to me and they asked if I would be interested in taking a look at AJ and that he wanted to come down to Texas and see if things would work out between him and I," Shields told ThaBoxingVoice.

    "I said, 'No problem, I would love to see if we had a connection together'.

    "He said, 'European boxing is different from boxing in the US'. He realised he had to come to the US to get something different.

    "He told me, 'Listen, I know people don't think I'm a dog. I've got to be a dog in this next fight'.

    "And that's his words. He told me, 'I just need you to show me how to be the best dog you can teach me to be.'"

    American boxer Jermall Charlo trains with Shields and posted several videos on Instagram of Joshua speaking with Tyson's former coach after undertaking a light training session.

    Joshua has provided no official confirmation on his coaching staff yet, with assistant trainers Angel Hernandez and Joby Clayton also part of his set-up.

    After losing to Andy Ruiz Jr, Joshua added Hernandez to his team but it remains unseen as to whether he will continue with McCracken as his trainer for the Usyk rematch.

     

  • Wilder congratulates Fury after post-fight snub Wilder congratulates Fury after post-fight snub

    Deontay Wilder has congratulated Tyson Fury for winning their trilogy fight, having declined to do so in the immediate aftermath of the bout in Las Vegas.

    The WBC champion defended his belt and maintained his unbeaten record (31-0-1) with a devastating 11th-round knockout of Wilder (42-2-1) in a classic slugfest.

    The American left the ring soon after the fight was over and, according to Fury, refused to show any respect before departing.

    "I'm a sportsman; I went over to show some love and respect and he didn't want to show it back," Fury said. "I'll pray for him so God will soften his heart."

    "I said, 'Well done'. And he said, 'I don't wanna show any sportsmanship or respect.' I said, 'No problem'."

    "Very surprised [by] that," Fury added. "Sore loser, an idiot. Do you know what? To be a top fighting man, you've got to show guts and respect and he couldn't do it tonight. And that's it."

    However, Wilder appears to have had a change of heart, using a post on his official Instagram account to congratulate his opponent after an epic trilogy came to an end.

    "Wow, what a hell of a night! I would like to first and foremost thank God for allowing me to give the world another part of me that's driven with passion and determination," Wilder wrote.

    "I would like to thank my team and my fans for sticking by my side through this long process. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed in the outcome but after reflecting on my journey, I now see that what God wanted me to experience is far greater than what I expected to happen.

    "We didn't get the win but a wise man once said the victories are within the lessons. I've learned that sometimes you have to lose to win. Although, I wanted the win I enjoyed seeing the fans win even more.

    "Hopefully, I proved that I am a true Warrior and a true King in this sport. Hopefully, WE proved that no matter how hard you get hit with trials and tribulations you can always pick yourself up to live and fight again for what you believe in.

    "Last but not least I would like to congratulate [Tyson Fury] for his victory and thank you for the great historical memories that will last forever."

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