Former world champion Tony Bellew has backed Anthony Joshua to knock Tyson Fury out inside six rounds if the pair meet in their much-anticipated heavyweight clash later this year.
The two Brits both picked up solitary victories in 2020, with Joshua knocking out Kubrat Pulev in December after Fury had stopped Deontay Wilder earlier in the year.
Many viewed Fury's win as the more impressive of the two, leading to him currently being considered the slight favourite with the bookmakers.
Bellew sees things differently, though. He points out that Fury has been knocked down before, and he believes that Joshua will be more ruthless in finishing their match-up than Fury's past opponents.
Speaking to IFL TV, he said: "AJ will get his opportunity [against Fury], and he will land, and he will hurt him. He’s got the speed and the technical ability to carry on and go with it.
"There have been numerous fighters that have dropped Fury over the years, like Steve Cunningham.
“He dropped him, but then he was mystified by his size and what to do. Then you’re lost. 30 seconds pass, and then a minute passes, and then your opportunity is gone.
“He isn’t allowing that to happen. I just don’t see it. I just see him [Joshua] landing something heavy and then getting on with it.
“And I think it has to be in the first six rounds, and I think it will."
Fury was also dropped heavily by Wilder in their first contest in December 2018 in the final round. However, Fury was able to weather the storm upon returning to his feet, and finished the bout strongly.
Despite this, Bellew argues that Joshua has experienced facing wily opponents, and proved that he is able to finish the best in the business when he stopped Wladimir Klitschko in their classic fight back in 2017.
“We saw what he [Joshua] did with Klitschko. That’s somebody technically very good at surviving, and that’s someone that can keep you away when he’s at his best.
“He goes and finds a way to get rid of you. That’s the difference I see," he stated.
“And I think it has to be in the first six rounds, and I think it will. I’ll stand by that statement; I really will.”
Bellew has made his view clear but there is no doubt that this match-up is splitting opinions right now. Very few are able to pick with certainty as to who will come out on top.
The positive news is that we are likely to find out soon. Talks between the two camps are said to be progressing well, with the mouth-watering fight set to be agreed for the summer.
We can't wait to see how it pans out!News Now - Sport News