Tyson Fury can only envision one scenario where Anthony Joshua can avenge his prior defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.
It won’t come from his countryman’s union with renowned cornerman and former junior lightweight titlist Robert Garcia, according to the unbeaten lineal/WBC heavyweight champion. The best laid plan, as Fury views it, would be for the two most prominent British heavyweights to join forces in training camp.
“Unless Anthony Joshua gets his ass up to Morecambe and lets me train him for this fight, Robert Garcia and ten men like him will not make him beat Usyk” Fury insisted during a recent interview released Tuesday on Queensberry Promotions YouTube channel that was otherwise intended to discuss his own career. “One, they don’t know him. Two, they don’t know what he’s got in his engine. Three, he’s not a little Mexican who can go toe-to-toe with someone for 15 rounds.
“If he gets on Usyk from round one and tries to push him and be aggressive, he’ll get gassed in four rounds, starts hanging around by five rounds and gets stopped in six or seven. If he comes to Morecambe Bay, I’ll teach him how to be a real Viking man for twelve rounds and how to deal with these little middleweight people, then he’ll get a win. Other than that, I see him getting beat again. Two in a row, baby and it’s over.”
Watford’s Joshua (24-2, 22KOs) has not fought since his twelve-round, unanimous decision defeat to Ukraine’s Usyk (19-0, 13KOs) last September at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London. The loss left Joshua as a former two-time unified heavyweight titlist, though having previously regained his WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO belts by avenging his prior defeat to Andy Ruiz in their December 2019 in Saudi Arabia.
The rematch with Usyk is also expected to take place in the Middle East, though it will be Joshua’s first fight without Rob McCracken taking the lead in his corner. Joshua went on a tour earlier this year to work with various trainers in the U.S., ultimately settling on Garcia who will work alongside longtime Joshua assistant trainer Angel Fernandez.
Garcia has earned a reputation as one of the top coaches in the game, training multiple champions and titleholders including brothers Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (15-0, 10KOs) and Joshua Franco (18-1-2, 8KOs) who both currently hold separate versions of the junior bantamweight crown.
Manchester’s Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs) has seen his name attached to several rumors speculating that he will face the winner of the Joshua-Usyk rematch. While his exclusive interview barely addressed plans for his eventual ring return, he dismissed talks of being in negotiations for such a fight and seems more interested in coaching his longtime domestic rival to victory.
Absent that, he suspects that—for the right price—an undisputed showdown with Usyk could very well be in his future. In his view, the current path that Joshua is traveling does not pose the question of whether he will lose again but in what fashion.
“It all depends on Robert Garcia’s game plan, how quick he wants him to get chinned,” insisted Fury. “What it is, to have a style of coming forward and put pressure as a big man like he is and like I am, you need two V-12 engines, right? You need to be able to take punches as well and you need to have balls like King Kong. None of the three of the above that I’ve said, does he have. He doesn’t have the best engine, he doesn’t have the toughness and he doesn’t have big balls like King Kong.
“Other than that, he’ll need to have the best game plan ever. Just put on the front foot and attack, it’s impossible. He doesn’t have any of the above to do. The way I see it, if he trains with Robert Garcia, he might hit him with a big punch like he did last time and try to knock him out that way. If he tries to go on that front foot and is aggressive, he gets stopped in eight rounds and I mean that.”
Fury last fought this past April 23, scoring a highlight reel sixth-round knockout of countryman Dillian Whyte in front of a Wembley Stadium boxing record crowd of 94,000. The outspoken heavyweight insisted afterward that he is done with boxing, though has since suggested—including on Tuesday—that he will return to the ring in some capacity.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox