The road back to the summit of professional heavyweight boxing for Anthony Joshua appeared to be a long and winding one after losing to Oleksandr Usyk. It was, after all, Joshua’s second loss to the Ukrainian in as many fights. Furthermore, following a questionable reaction to the judges’ decision to award Usyk a split decision win, it was hard to picture the Englishman in the ring anytime soon. Indeed, Joshua’s stock had plummeted to an all-time low and the future looked uncertain. That was until Tyson Fury handed Joshua the chance to return to the top of the sport.
Boxing is, of course, a game of smoke and mirrors with callouts often designed to raise the profile of an individual’s career rather than being consistently genuine. However, in this case, a fight between the Brits looks to be extremely likely after Fury’s callout given that the latest betting UK boxing odds have already given both fighters a price, with Fury at 1/4 and Joshua further out at 11/4.
Unsurprisingly, the most recent sports predictions pieces have thrown their weight behind Fury who is still undefeated in his career. In some respects though, the odds make for curious reading given the evident gulf in class between the two boxers that has been proven beyond doubt over the last few years.
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) September 5, 2022
At least, Joshua’s odds of 11/4 don’t necessarily indicate that he has a mountain to climb whilst the reality is that Fury would be the trickiest opponent of his career so far. Yes, that price makes Joshua the outsider but after the last 36 months that the Watford-born fighter has had, you would expect them to be considerably longer. Indeed, losses to Andy Ruiz Jr and Usyk have illustrated that Joshua has very real and exploitable weaknesses which Fury should be able to play on at will.
To a certain extent, Fury’s odds of 1/4 back that up but there is little doubt that the boxing markets are adjusting their prices accordingly to accommodate the Englishman’s inactivity given what it could mean on the night against Joshua who has remained active.
Admittedly, Fury has, with the help of his social media channels, presented an image of a fighter who regularly trains despite announcing his retirement after beating Dillian Whyte in April. There is, however, a distinct difference between being in a legitimate training camp in the lead-up to a fight and creating humorous content from the gym every few days for one’s followers.
Note to self : I got to work harder pic.twitter.com/etUMTPvsp3
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) September 2, 2022
This is where it gets interesting as the odds, as initially alluded to, have just about kept Joshua in the contest as 11/4. These prices could change as the fight, which will be potentially scheduled for the end of the year, gets nearer, but you imagine that for them to do that, Fury would have to be put through his paces during an arduous training camp.
In reality, it will come down to whether a somewhat inactive Fury can beat a faltering Joshua who will, intriguingly, be fitter. When everything is added up, this may not be as clear-cut as the boxing community is making it out to be with the odds leaving the door ajar for an upset.