Joe Joyce is convinced Tyson Fury will beat Anthony Joshua in their £200m heavyweight showdown.
Joyce has had experience of sparring against both athletes and believes Fury holds the upper hand as AJ is too ‘wary of getting hit’.
It is likely that Joyce will face the winner of the Fury-AJ showdown, following his own fight against Oleksandr Usyk.
Joyce knows Joshua from their days on the GB boxing squad and feels the unified champion is ‘too negative in his style’.
Joyce credited AJ for ‘picking himself up’ after suffering a stunning seventh-round knockout defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. However, he claims the 31-year-old is now too worried about getting hit.
When asked who he backed to win the Fury-AJ fight, Joyce told the Evening Standard, “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.
“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.”
Joshua hit the canvas four times during his loss to Ruiz Jr. However, he reclaimed the WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA titles in the December 2019 during their rematch.
Joshua won the fight by an unanimous decision after keeping his distance and taking Ruiz to the 12th round.
Some critics, including Joyce, felt AJ was too cautious against Ruiz. While some felt the ‘negative style’ Joyce refers to could also be seen against Kubrat Pulev in December.