THE heavyweight division is in rude health. Anthony Joshua brought around 80,000 fans into Wembley stadium for a widely viewed pay-per-view, even though his challenger Alexander Povetkin was little known to the general public. His main rivals, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will contest the WBC belt, the only world title that Joshua doesn’t hold, on December 1 in America.
In short this is a good time for heavyweight boxing. But don’t expect to see a unification to confirm an undisputed champion in the division any time soon. Frank Warren, who promotes Fury, doesn’t anticipate the Wilder-Fury winner facing Joshua immediately after their fight, condemning “Eddie Hearn [Joshua’s promoter] bulls*** he put out there to stop the fight from happening. First he keeps banging on about a rematch clause and [that] he’s got to know now. That’s what they’re saying. As they want to announce their fight, it’s a deadline. Last week he was talking about [Dillian] Whyte fighting on December 22. So how is that going to happen then? They’re not going to wait to see whether Whyte won that fight? It’s all bulls***. He’s going to be fighting Whyte on [April] 13. Like I told you he was going to be fighting Povetkin. I said forget all the Wilder stuff, that’s never going to happen. You’ve got to read Barry Hearn’s statement a few weeks. Barry Hearn’s very, very succinct. Barry Hearn said we don’t care whether we fight Wilder in two years or even in 10 years’ time.”
Warren continued, “He’s telling you, no one seems to pick up on it, he’s an accountant, his mentality is he doesn’t want to risk what he feels is his cash cow. That’s it.”
Fury has taken this shot at Wilder sooner than Warren originally advised. “We go for the fight,” Warren said. “I wanted my man to have another couple of fights. Mentally he’s there, he wants it. He said let’s do it. His confidence has given me the confidence to make the fight. So we’ve made it happen. But that tells you what he’s about. Whatever you want to say about Tyson Fury, he’s got balls. He’s the guy that went out to Germany, the other guy’s backyard. Didn’t go to purse bids, let’s go there, let’s do it… He went out there and he done it in style and won it. That tells you he wants to fight. All this bulls*** about ‘he’s the most boring fighter ever, he’s the worst fighter you’ve ever seen.’ He’s the worst fighter he’s ever seen, [why] was he [Eddie Hearn] trying to feed up two of his fighters for him to beat, which was Whyte and [Tony] Bellew and then fight Joshua, and offer him millions to do it. So suddenly he’s a bad fighter.”
While Warren claims there is a flaw in Anthony Joshua, he insists he admires him. “I knew about him when he was a kid. He came to my shows before anybody outside of amateur boxing knew about him. Before Matchroom knew about him. I really liked him. When he won silver at the World amateur championships he showed a lot of balls. He absolutely gritted his teeth, went out there and tried to win the gold. I thought he won that and I thought it was a bad decision. He was lucky in the Olympics, there were a couple of decisions there which I felt went his way,” Warren said.
“I know a lot of people have a lot of respect for Rob McCracken. I don’t think he’s with a trainer who’s great at teaching boxers defence. Carl Froch didn’t have a great defence. Look at his nose. He didn’t have a great defence. He had a great chin. Anthony Joshua’s been clipped in every fight he’s ever had,” Warren claimed. “[Carlos] Takam clipped him, every one of them and he got clipped again [against Povetkin] the first round and in the second before he knocked him out. He’s got a big heart. He’s got a big punch.”
Warren added, “If that had been Wilder catching him on the chin, or even Tyson catching him on the chin, do you think they’d have let him off the hook? The answer to that is no. He’s got a big punch. He was behind in that fight in my opinion, I still like him as a fighter. But I don’t look at what fighters are good at doing, I look at what are doing badly or what their flaws are. And his flaw is you can catch him with a right hand. He’s not hard to hit.”