Boxers, Trainers & Pundits
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury hold all the heavyweight titles but who is world No 1?
Watch all of Anthony Joshua's professional fights on Sky Sports Action throughout Friday and On Demand
Last Updated: 28/03/20 10:06am
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury hold all the world heavyweight titles but who is No 1? Sky Sports experts have given their verdict...
Joshua regained the WBA 'super', IBF and WBO belts with a masterful points win over Andy Ruiz Jr in their December rematch, while Fury is the newly crowned WBC champion following a stunning stoppage victory over Deontay Wilder in their return fight last month.
But which of Britain's world champions should be considered as the true heavyweight king?
Having been ringside in Vegas a few weeks ago witnessing one of the best performances from a British fighter - at any weight - Tyson Fury's incredible destruction of the feared and ferocious Deontay Wilder proves to most that The Gypsy King is indeed now the real king of the heavyweights. What unfolded recently at the MGM Grand was amazing.
Joshua has beaten superb opposition in style in front of huge crowds; yet only when he has fought and defeated Fury, can Joshua be seen as the real number one
Commentating on Fury's other outstanding win when he mentally and physically befuddled and out-boxed Wladimir Klitschko to become the lineal champion, I felt that away from home, that underdog conquest was also right up there with our very finest.
After his astonishing battle back from his well-documented and damaging lay-off - admitting the darkness of depression and gaining extraordinary amounts of weight - I felt he 'won' the first controversial encounter with The Bronze Bomber, and his fight back has been one of the best stories in recent boxing history. This culminated on February 22nd when he proved he is one of boxing's biggest personalities and entertainers with that stunning ring entry and then his masterful dismantling of Wilder was sensational.
Meanwhile Anthony Joshua's revenge victory over Andy Ruiz Jr out in the Saudi Arabian desert puts our biggest global sporting attraction back on top with more belts and still in many areas more drawing power than Tyson Fury. AJ's star might have faded in his shock, sole loss in The Garden last June but his punch perfect win in the rematch - and the viewing figures he draws - sees him fight hard for that top spot. Joshua has beaten superb opposition in style in front of huge crowds; yet only when he has fought and defeated Fury, can Joshua be seen as the real No 1.
In terms of boxing - it has to be 'king' Fury; in terms of casual sporting appeal it must still be Joshua - that speech he gave in front of the Royal Family on the Commonwealth, his awards, his accolades, and ambassadorial qualities aligned with his lack of controversy all add up to AJ still being a superstar.
Tyson Fury is just in front of Anthony Joshua. Part of my reasoning for this is because he was lineal champion, beating Wladimir Klitschko a few years ago to become champion and never lost the titles in the ring.
He came back when everybody thought he couldn't beat Wilder and I thought he won the first fight, even though he got dropped. The rematch was so one-sided, so conclusive, and I just think you've got to put him at No 1, above AJ.
It's him and AJ, one and two, and you think to yourself, logically who wins between AJ and Fury? I think most people, the general consensus would be that Fury wins that one, but the only way to end any debate would be to see them share the ring.
I've picked Fury as No1 for a few reasons. Firstly, going back a few years now but he's 'the man who beat the man' in Wladimir Klitschko - he's the lineal champion.
A lot people were picking Wilder after his devastating knockouts of Breazeale and Ortiz, and Fury just completely dismantled him - it was like a man and boy
He then came back after a two-and-a-half year lay off with only two 'glorified sparring sessions' under his belt to beat Deontay Wilder, but for it to be declared a draw.
And then going into their last fight in February, a lot of people were picking Wilder after his devastating knockouts of Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz, and Fury just completely dismantled him - it was like a man and boy.
If you look at it on paper, you have to say the world No 1 heavyweight is Anthony Joshua when you're talking about belts.
You can make a case for both fighters, but you would make a stronger one for Tyson Fury
But based on their last performances, you have to edge towards Tyson Fury, who still has not suffered a defeat. Of course Fury had that amazing win over Deontay Wilder, but then you look at the fight beforehand against Otto Wallin, he looked vulnerable, he got hurt, he got caught and he didn't look great. He stepped up against Wilder when he had to.
Anthony Joshua, he did what he had to do against Andy Ruiz Jr, a man he probably shouldn't have lost against in the first place. You can make a case for both fighters, but you would make a stronger one for Tyson Fury.
You must also remember that Anthony Joshua has boxed more top 10 fighters in his last 10 fights than Tyson Fury. But I would have to say Tyson Fury, as it stands. Ultimately we want to see them share the ring to show the true No 1.
Because Tyson Fury defeated Deontay Wilder, and in such outstanding fashion, I feel we can't do anything but place him at No 1.
Most saw Joshua versus Wilder as a toss up - so the fact Fury was so dominant for me makes him the No 1. We just need Tyson Fury against Anthony Joshua to actually find out!
Tyson Fury. The world's top three heavyweights are Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. The only two of them who have boxed each other are Fury and Wilder and Fury came out on top, in comprehensive fashion the second time, which for me makes him No 1.
Joshua hasn't had the opportunity to box either Fury or Wilder yet, that's obviously true and I don't lay the blame for that at his door, but that three-man round robin is currently the tournament that counts and he must get involved in it.
It could become a four-man tournament with the arrival of Oleksandr Usyk at heavyweight, but he has plenty to prove in the division before he can be considered.
Watch all of Anthony Joshua's professional fights on Sky Sports Action throughout Friday and On Demand.