John Fury believes defeat to Anthony Joshua against Oleksandr Usyk could ‘steer’ him towards retirement – but believes showing the ‘devil in him’ will allow him to secure his knockout revenge.
Joshua is looking to regain the IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight titles from the undefeated Ukrainian in Saudi Arabia after a decision defeat in their first meeting last September in London.
Defeat to the Brit would be his third in his last five fights with former world champions Carl Froch and Johnny Nelson among those suggesting another setback could force him to walk away from the sport.
Joshua has hit back at those claims this week and insists he has no intention of hanging up the gloves regardless of what happens in Jeddah.
But Fury Snr believes another setback would make life extremely difficult for the Londoner and potentially remove him from the world title equation for good.
“If he loses on Saturday night, it will be very difficult for him to get back up there,” Fury said. Metro.co.uk.
‘Of course it can be done, but he will lose a lot of ground. A lot of momentum. He needs a win does AJ, but he has millions of dollars in the bank, he doesn’t really need the money.
A loss might steer him towards thinking that way, but they’re boxers and he’s got a lot of people packed around him. It won’t be his final decision, I don’t think; it depends on how bound he is.
‘But I think a loss would steer him towards that, but you never know with boxers.’
Usyk outplayed Joshua comprehensively in his own backyard last year, nearly sealing a majestic performance with a 12th-round stoppage after a sublime late storm.
Joshua’s game plan that night has been widely criticized as the Brit failed to take advantage of his superior size and strength against the former cruiserweight king.
The former champion has since made changes to his corner, with Robert Garcia joining Angel Fernandez to prepare ‘AJ’ for the biggest fight of his life.
After seeing Joshua fall short last time out, Fury Snr has urged the challenger to ‘bully’ Usyk from the start and be ‘the worst kind of person he’s ever been in that ring.’
“I know they’re all talking about Usyk, but I wouldn’t write Anthony Joshua out of the picture,” Fury said. ‘If he gets the right game plan, the right mindset and takes it and bullies him with a lot of devils in his work, I think Joshua can stop him.
‘I would go for body blows; I wanted to work with the body. Lots of punishment underneath, bring them up through the middle and down the sides. If he gets that game plan, who knows, I think he can do it.
‘But it’s going to take the devil in his work, aggression and him being a bully and the worst kind of person he’s ever been in that ring. He has to change his character completely. He has to be a demon when he’s in there or he comes second best as you can’t box out Usyk as he’s just too tricky.
But what he can do is strengthen him, outplay him and use his size and weight to his advantage. He needs a lot of heart on the night, if he gets all this he should win. Anything less, and it’s a Usyk victory.’
Tyson Fury announced once again last week that he has now retired from boxing and confirmed this decision by vacating The Ring Magazine title, which will also now be up for grabs on Saturday.
Despite vowing to walk away, many still expect ‘The Gypsy King’, who still holds the WBC title, to return and fight the winner of Usyk vs Joshua II to crown the heavyweight division’s first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.
“Tyson is a unique man, nobody knows what his reaction to being called out would be,” Fury Snr said. ‘I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall for that. Whatever goes down, I’m sure Tyson will put his two pence in. It’s going to be something special, trust me. It will definitely be worth watching.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk courtesy of Freebets.com
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