Joe Joyce, who knows Anthony Joshua very well from their days on the GB boxing squad, feels the unified champion is "too wary" of getting hit these days.
Joyce noticed the change in Joshua's ring style in 2019 - after the British superstar suffered a stunning seventh round TKO defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz.
Joshua went down four times in his loss - but he reclaimed the WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA titles in the December 2019 rematch with Ruiz, when he used distance and boxing to win a twelve round unanimous decision.
Some critics, including Joyce, felt Joshua was also a bit too cautious during his stoppage win over mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in December.
Because of those changes in the ring, Joyce is backing WBC champion Tyson Fury to win a potential unification with Joshua.
“I’m going with Fury because of his performances and the way he’s come back from his lowest point to beat Deontay Wilder for the WBC," Joyce told Standard Sport.
"I think that while Joshua’s picked himself up since losing to Andy Ruiz Jr, he’s kind of been a bit too negative in his style, and been a bit wary of the shots coming back at him. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a 50-50 fight, Joshua has got great strength, hand speed, dedication and motivation, and he’s very competitive. With Fury, you know he is mentally very strong, tactically as well. He’s unorthodox and hard to hit, he’s fast and he’s a bigger guy with the longer reach. For me, he has the edge.”
The handlers for Fury and Joshua are currently in serious negotiations to finalize a two fight agreement, with the first contest landing on a date in May or June.
Fury has been out of the ring since February 2020, when he stopped Deontay Wilder in seven rounds to capture the WBC title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.