Anthony Joshua is ‘NOT an elite heavyweight’ according to Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum

Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum insists Anthony Joshua is NOT an elite heavyweight and says he doesn’t “think about him much” because he was knocked out by “non-puncher” Andy Ruiz Jr.

  • Anticipation built for Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury fight
  • But Bob Arum insists Fury’s upcoming fight with Deontay Wilder is a bigger deal
  • The promoter even admits he wants Oleksandr to beat Usyk Joshua in his next fight
  • A Usyk win would seriously dent the chances of a fight between AJ and Fury

Tyson Fury’s promoter claims Anthony Joshua is not among boxing’s elite heavyweights after his shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Joshua suffered a devastating defeat to the American in 2019 when he was knocked out four times before finally being defeated in the seventh round.

In response to the defeat, Joshua won a return game six months later to reclaim his WBA, IBF, WBO AND IBO titles.

Bob Arum (left, with Tyson Fury) has written off Anthony Joshua as an elite heavyweight

Joshua suffered a shocking defeat from Andy Ruiz in the United States in 2019

Joshua suffered a shocking defeat from Andy Ruiz in the United States in 2019

However, Bob Arum still believes the first defeat leaves a scar and it has damaged Joshua’s reputation for calling Ruiz a ‘non-puncher’.

“I’m not happy with Joshua,” he told journalist Gareth A Davies via the Sun.

“I don’t think much about Joshua because every time the name Joshua is mentioned, I see him lying on the canvas after being hit by a non-punch like Andy Ruiz.

‘I’m telling you the truth. I may be underestimating Joshua, but I’m not convinced Joshua is an elite heavyweight.”

A fight between Fury and Joshua is said to be one of the most highly anticipated clashes in recent times and an August 14 meeting in the Middle East looked set to be confirmed before it was belatedly halted.

Joshua's defeat stunned the heavyweight division, despite going on to win the rematch

Joshua’s defeat stunned the heavyweight division, despite going on to win the rematch

This was due to Deontay Wilder winning his bid to set up a trilogy clash with Fury.

Arum had teamed up with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn to plan a fight between their British stars, in a united fight with Fury defending the WBC belt.

Joshua now faces Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25 to defend his titles, a fortnight before Fury travels to Nevada to face Wilder, who he defeated in his last fight in February last year.

Should both stars win, Arum is poised to resume negotiations with Hearn, though he said the Wilder-Fury fight is a bigger deal in the United States.

Joshua will fight next month when he faces Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Joshua will fight next month when he faces Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Arum said: “This is no disrespect to him, Anthony Joshua means almost nothing to the boxing community in the United States.

All they remember of Anthony Joshua is his only fight in the United States where he was knocked out by a non-punch like Andy Ruiz, that opinion about Anthony Joshua won’t change anytime soon.

So, if Anthony Joshua were to fight Tyson Fury in the States, it wouldn’t perform nearly as well as Tyson Fury’s upcoming fight with Deontay Wilder.

“He’s not a personality, he’s not getting through to the American public.

“It may be very different how he connects with the British public, but he doesn’t connect with the American public.

Two weeks later, Fury travels to Nevada for a third fight with Deontay Wilder

Two weeks later, Fury travels to Nevada for a third fight with Deontay Wilder

“They don’t know who he is or what he stands for — they don’t know anything about him.”

While a Fury/Joshua fight would still work in Arum’s financial interests, the promoter has admitted he will be leaning on good friend Usyk when he takes on Joshua in north London.

A win for the Ukrainian would seriously hurt hopes of a fight with Joshua/Fury, despite Joshua having the option of a rematch.

Arum told Sky Sports: “Usyk is a friend of mine because he is Vasiliy Lomachenko’s friend,” Arum told Sky Sports.

“He’s a great guy, funny, articulate and smart. It is against my economic interest, but I will support him in the fight! I just can’t help it.’

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