It has been over two decades since boxing had a unified heavyweight champion. The belt-holder was Lennox Lewis. The year was 2000. And now, in 2021, boxing is about to get another one. It will be determined by the long-awaited super-fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
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Before we get to our picks and the Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua odds, though, it's important to note this won't be the only matchup between these two. They signed on for two bouts. The first Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury date has yet to be set, and the second one likely won't be scheduled until after the initial meeting. All of this should be kept in mind as we seek to analyze this mega event.
However! Some sportsbooks have released early Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury odds. Let's take a look at some courtesy of Bovada:
As of this writing, we have at least a few months before the fight takes place. So be sure to double-check these lines before doing any Joshua vs. Fury betting.
Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua Breakdown
Though the news of this championship battle is still quite fresh—it was only announced in mid-March—there is still plenty of information available and tons of analysis to be delivered.
Let's go through it all, shall we?
Date and Location of Fury vs. Joshua
As mentioned earlier, the Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua fight date has yet to be set. Most expect that to be decided fairly shortly, as the target date is believed to be sometime over the summer.
Eddy Hearn, a promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA, and WBO, has confirmed as much. He told reporters the goal is to have the fight sometime in June or July, with the second meeting to take place by the end of 2021.
Figuring out the potential venue is more difficult. A bunch of different places is being thrown around. Not even a possible continent has been chosen upon. America, the United Kingdom, Dubai, China, Qatar, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia are all believed to be in play.
The Case for Tyson Fury to Win
Looking at Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua stats doesn't provide much clarity when searching for an edge. They both fight a similar style; they're comfortably duking it out in closed quarters for furious stretches rather than hedge by dancing around in circles.
Fury has emerged as the heavy(ish) favorite for fairly obvious reasons. He has the distinct size advantage at 6'9" and boasts a longer reach that will serve him well when trying to land combinations while Joshua goes on the defensive.
Fury's quickness also belies his height. He has an incredibly explosive north-south approach, and his side-to-side gait is dizzyingly fast. If he's able to keep Joshua on the move it might throw him off-balance, thereby opening more of an opportunity for Fury to come in with his trademark powerful combos.
The Casey for Anthony Joshua to Win
If you see betting value in Joshua at +150, you won't be the only one. The 31-year-old has lost only one of his 25 bouts, and he has a knockout rate of 88 percent in those victories.
Taking down Fury in that same manner will be difficult. He has a size and slight strength advantage. Joshua will need to hit a high percentage of his combos from the opening bell if he's going to wear out Fury rather than take it to a decision.
On the bright side, Joshua has done a great deal to improve his defense. Like we said earlier, both these fighters like to get in the trenches immediately, but he developed a greater sense of patience after getting beaten by Andy Ruiz.
That stamina will serve him well. Not only is Fury used to going a few more rounds on average compared to Joshua, but the latter will need to be more methodical about how he goes on the offensive against someone who is so quick and long.
Fury vs. Joshua Picks
Bettors are going to flock toward Fury. And if you wish to join them, you'll want to pounce soon. We get the sense his line could move to -200 or above prior to the opening bell given the way analysis is leaning at the moment.
Rolling with the favorite is hardly unfounded. Fury is by far and away from the better tactician. And while Joshua has become more of a deliberate fighter, he looks for openings so that he can take monster risks. Other opponents may not make him pay as severely—Joshua has been the favorite in his past five fights by a mile—but Fury absolutely will.
Still, Joshua doesn't receive enough credit for his sturdy core. He can take his licks and bounce back later on in matches to steal decisions or seize knockouts. And where Fury might be the better technical fighter, we believe Joshua's footwork is superior at this point in time, which will allow him to evade the home-run-swing combinations Fury invariably tries to deliver.
Push comes to shove, we're inclined to go with the upset. And we'll guess it comes by decision, but don't entirely rule out a TKO victory.
OSB Prediction: Anthony Joshua (+150)
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which to use for all your boxing bets: