Master of the mind games Tyson Fury has dealt the first blow ahead of a proposed showdown with Anthony Joshua, claiming AJ is suffering from a confidence crisis.
After his clinical performance against ageing Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in December, Joshua vowed to take Fury’s “head off his shoulders” If and when they eventually fight.
The pair are reported to have a provisional two-fight deal in place and the noise around the proposed showdown is ramping up by the day.
However, Fury soon dismissed AJ’s knockout threat, claiming that he’s never seen Joshua approach a fight that way and that the quote simply “doesn’t mean anything”.
“This fight has been brewing for a long time, Fury told Fox Miami, per SkySports. “They have been avoiding me for a long time and now it’s finally got to happen. They either run away from the fight and announce it publicly, or take the fight. Either way it’s a lose-lose situation for him.
“It’s a nice quote. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s sticks and stones. People say a lot of stuff and they don’t back it up, so we’ll see.
“I’ve never seen him take anybody’s head off anybody’s shoulders in all of his 22 fights. Probably a lie. Another lie.”
What can’t be dismissed is that Joshua has 22 knockout victories in 25 professional fights (24 wins, one defeat). Thirteen of those KOs have come inside the first two rounds, albeit against a weaker opposition.
Joshua has been far more measured in his approach in recent fights. He was particularly and perhaps understandably far more cautious when he outpointed heavy and hopeless Andy Ruiz in late 2019, avenging his shock defeat to the Mexican and most recently took his time to dispose of the awkward yet gun-shy Kubrat Pulev.
Meanwhile, Tyson Fury put on a career-best display when he demolished Deontay Wilder back in February – and now the 32-year-old ‘Gypsy King’ has questioned whether Joshua really has the courage to try and take him out.
“We’ll see if he’s got the guts to try and do it when I’m stood in the ring in front of him. I don’t believe he has,” Fury added.
“I don’t think he’s as good as people crack him up to be, or he doesn’t believe he is, in his own self. He’s got a confidence issue.
“He’s coming off two shaky performances. Boxing is all about who is in form and who isn’t.
“On his last two fights he’s not in form, on mine I am. Momentum is with me and I just believe I take him out early, very early. Maybe even one round, two rounds.”