Analysis: How Joshua vs Fury could unfold

Analysis: How Joshua vs Fury could unfold

The announcement that Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have agreed to two fights means 2021 looks set to be a landmark year for British boxing.

The first is set to be a unification bout from which the winner would walk away with a full set of heavyweight belts, assuming that neither boxer suffers defeat in the meantime. Fury has to complete his contracted trilogy with Deontay Wilder before preparing to face Joshua, who may himself line up another challenger in the meantime to help him stay sharp.

Here we analyse the previous performance of both fighters and assess how Joshua vs Fury could be decided.

With both fighters having been taken the full distance by two of their last four opponents, it would not be surprising if this encounter were to be settled on points, but if one of them can secure a knockout then history suggests that the seventh round could be when the contest ends.

Five of the 12-round fights involving one of them have finished in round seven, including two of Joshua’s last three and Fury’s recent rematch with Wilder.

Since both men defeated heavyweight legend Wladimir Klitschko they have spent a similar amount of time in the ring: Joshua 48 rounds and Fury 47.

During this time, Fury has been the more energetic fighter, throwing over 10 punches per round more than Joshua, although the Gypsy King has been less accurate. Typically only 13 of the 45 punches Fury attempts in an average round find their target, compared to 15 of the 35 thrown by AJ.

If Joshua vs Fury does last the full 12 rounds, then the flow of recent fights involving the two Brits can shed some light on how they might respond. Since their respective victories over Klitschko, both boxers have seen two of their contests decided by the judges, but as time began to run out their approaches to the later rounds differed significantly.

Both began to rely more on power punches than jabs from the sixth round onwards, perhaps looking to secure a knockout before fatigue crept in.

In the last three rounds, though, Joshua fell back to using his jab as he had done in the opening stages, while Fury continued to attempt knockout blows. Fewer than one in four punches thrown by Joshua from the 10th round onwards were power punches, compared to over 60% of Fury’s.

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