It is a comment that will upset many, but Frank Warren has claimed that his charge Tyson Fury needn’t fight Anthony Joshua to secure his legacy as a heavyweight great.
The boxing world has split opinons on currently now as he prepares to take on the big-hitting MMA champion Francis Ngannou in Riyadh this October rather than defend his world title
Mike Tyson is now training Ngannou for the fight, but it’s not one many hardcore boxing fans are keen to see, instead preferring the WBC and lineal champion to face off with boxing peers like WBA, WBO and IBF champion Oleksandr Usyk or former champion and British rival Joshua.
Speaking to Up Front With Simon Jordan, Warren was told Fury must fight Joshua to cement his legacy, but immediately questioned that.
“Why, beating Joshua, is that a defining fight?”
Jordan then stated that Joshua has been a two-time heavyweight champion of the world and that such fights ‘build legacies’. Warren disagreed.
“I don’t agree with that. That’s like saying when Larry Holmes fought Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes was a great fighter in his time but he was 40-odd years of age.
Joshua’s had the crap kicked out of him. He’s lost his last three fights. It’s not a legacy-defining fight for me.”
It’s an opinion Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, disagrees with. He told Boxing Social that Fury must face all of the top names in his era to became an all-time great – and that includes ‘AJ.’
“Tyson Fury’s a great fighter. To be a modern day great, you have to beat all the top fighters in the division. Whatever way you want to rate AJ, the worst case scenario is he’s a top five heavyweight in the world.The best case is he’s number three. You’ve got to go through those guys. If Tyson Fury doesn’t beat Oleksandr Usyk, he’s not a generational great. In that package, you should also include Anthony Joshua. If he beats Usyk and AJ, he’s up there with Lennox Lewis.”