Filip Hrgovic: "Anthony Joshua is the bigger puncher, he throws more combinations, he is good with the jab and fast with his feet, he is better at inside-fighting. Tyson Fury has his awkward style but that's all he has."
Monday 10 May 2021 12:17, UK
Anthony Joshua is a "more complete fighter" and has been backed to beat Tyson Fury by Filip Hrgovic, who could secure a shot at a world heavyweight title.
IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua and WBC title holder Fury are in the final stages of agreeing a fight to decide the division's No 1, with promoter Eddie Hearn insisting, "We're all systems go, this fight is on, this fight is happening."
Unbeaten Hrgovic is awaiting news on a final eliminator to decide the next mandatory challenger for the IBF belt, with expected opponent Michael Hunter yet to finalise a deal.
Hrgovic told Sky Sports about Joshua vs Fury: "It will be a huge fight. I can't wait, like a fan, to see that. I hope they make an agreement soon. A lot of people are writing off Joshua and are giving Fury the advantage because of their last performances.
"[They say] Joshua has slowed down.
"But in my opinion Joshua has more tools to beat him. He is the bigger puncher, he throws more combinations, he is good with the jab and fast with his feet, he is better at inside-fighting.
"Fury has his awkward style but that's all he has.
"Joshua is the more complete fighter. I give a little edge to Joshua."
Croatia's Hrgovic won an Olympic bronze medal at Rio 2016 and has since racked up 10 knockouts in 12 pro victories.
Co-promoter Kalle Sauerland expressed his frustration at Hunter's failure to agree terms for the most crucial fight of Hrgovic's career.
"The deadline for contracts was this week," Sauerland told Sky Sports. "Hrgovic has signed. We've signed on behalf of Hrgovic as well. The promoter and the boxer needs to sign. That's all done.
"Our paperwork is in. Maybe he's looking for a pen, maybe the scanner isn't working? But that contract has not been signed.
"At the moment, he doesn't seem to want the fight. If he didn't want the fight, I don't know why he's put us through two months of negotiations and purse bids."
Hrgovic is determined to gain a guaranteed shot at the IBF belt when Joshua and Fury have decided the heavyweight division's ruler.
"After this fight, I will be IBF mandatory," Hrgovic said. "Whoever wins, Joshua or Fury, I look forward to that fight.
"It will be a huge fight for me. They are both big names, huge stars, great boxers."
David Haye was forced to withdraw from a fight with Fury in 2013 after being cut in a sparring session by Hrgovic.
"I felt stupid," says Hrgovic. "It was not a pleasant situation.
"He said at that time: 'Everything happens for a reason'.
"Maybe he would have beaten Fury at that time, and Fury would not become undisputed after a few years. Who knows?
"Everything does happen for a reason. He was not mad at me."