So Tyson Fury is out.
The world heavyweight champion– who showed up as “Batman” during the kick-off presser for his massive upset of long reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko, has been rumored to have psychological issues stemming from depression which will prevent him from the rematch in Manchester on October 29.
Enter IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. The 17-0 (17 KO's) Joshua, 26, is a 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist and has the look of this generation's dominant force in the division. His game features a faster and more athletic version of 80's U.K. great Frank Bruno.
How good is Joshua? Well if he's in front of Mike Tyson in February 1989 instead of his fellow countryman Bruno, “Iron Mike” gets KTFO and Buster Douglas never serves as a trivia question. I'm not so sure it would have been regarded as the massive upset Tyson/Douglas was.
Late last night on Twitter, Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn (the U.K.'s Bob Arum) tossed a tweet at camp Klitschko to see about getting it on for the IBF title.
Reached out to @Klitschko- we love the fight! @anthonyfjoshua twitter.com/@danrafaelespn…
By getting ESPN's Dan Rafael involved, Hearn is sending a clear signal to the world (and Klitschko) that a new era has begun. Joshua is already on record as wanting it anywhere with WBC boss Deontay Wilder.
If a Joshua vs. Klitschko fight can be made, its a far better fight than the dreadful idea of Fury vs. Klitschko II, one that would continue boxing's European hot streak with guaranteed action.
The only drama going into the rematch with Fury revolved around whether or not Klitschko would make things more interesting in pursuit of reclaiming the RING, WBO and WBA belts. Klitschko took to Facebook to offer his doubt of Fury while offering little sympathy, releasing a short clip saying “Screw it”.
Not sure if Fury drinks Dos Equis (he's been known to knockdown quite a few adult drinks at events)– but he's definitely the most interesting man in his own world. Fury showed up in casual gear with funeral shades on at a Manchester fight event just after pulling out.
New Zealand upstart Joseph Parker had been tapped as Joshua's next challenge, but if logistics and particulars can be worked out (plus if Klitschko is “really” serious about reclaiming something besides just belts), then this happens.
Eddie Hearn and Tom Loeffler worked well in putting together Kell Brook vs. Gennady Golovkin, so this shouldn't be too difficult to make with HBO as the network of choice.
If anything, it would show the likes of New York's own Jarrell Miller what championship dedication and class is all about. Acting like a “Big Baby” won't cut it against the world's best.
Stay tuned for the latest in this heavyweight soap opera scheduled for more plot twists in the coming week.