Former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury believes he’s the greatest boxer of all time and has predicted that he will beat both Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder twice.
Fury is continuing his boxing comeback when he faces Italy’s Francesco Pianeta on Aug. 18. It will be just his second fight since late 2015 after “anti-doping and medical issues” saw him take time away from the sport.
With Wilder and Joshua’s plans for a title unification bout not coming to fruition with the latter now facing Alexander Povetkin, it emerged last month that the former was in negotiations with Fury over a potential World Boxing Council heavyweight title fight for December.
Fury claimed negotiations with the American were close to being done and he will likely face Wilder next in a fight many boxing fans are eager to see, as long as he defeats Pianeta.
The “Gypsy King” competing against Joshua is another fight many want to see as the two unbeaten Britons have regularly engaged in trash talk in the past, and Fury has vowed to not only inflict the duo’s first-ever defeats but to do it twice.
“I’ll beat them both twice just to show them how s–t they are,” Wilder told talkSPORT, as quoted on Boxing Scene. “I will beat them senseless – people may listen to this and think I’m a lunatic. But I am the greatest boxer that has ever lived in the heavyweight division, and that is a statement.”
“I’m 6ft 9in and 19 stone and I’m the greatest boxer that has ever lived. God has given me so much talent and ability to move, twist, bend and counter,” he said.
While Fury does lack the knockout power of Wilder and Joshua, he is certainly blessed with speed, height and reach, making him a tricky foe for many, most famously when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 via unanimous decision to become heavyweight champion.
It is why the last unified heavyweight champion in Lennox Lewis believes Fury is a nightmare opponent and will undoubtedly be a tough task for both Wilder and Joshua.
“Wilder would not find this easy,” Lewis said recently. “Fury’s height, long reach and mobility make him very difficult to beat. That’s why I call him their Bogeyman. He can be a nightmare for anyone.”
If Fury and Wilder do fight in December, the winner could be in line to challenge for Joshua’s WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles in a title unification bout, providing “AJ” comes out on top against Povetkin next month.
Joshua is defending his belts against the Russian on Sept. 22 at Wembley Stadium in London, and is scheduled to return there once again on April.
After his September fight with Wilder was called off, Joshua’s team claimed an offer was on the table for the Alabama native to fight him in April instead. But if things pan out the right way for Fury, it could be him getting a chance to battle with Joshua.