Former two-division champion Ricky Hatton has backed Tyson Fury to defeat Anthony Joshua in a potential unification in 2021.
Fury and Joshua are looking to collide in a two-fight series next year, with the IBF, IBO, WBC, WBO, WBA world titles at stake.
Joshua must first defeat mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in the coming months.
Hatton expects a close fight, but he does have concerns when it comes to Joshua – like the British superstar’s chin.
A year ago, Joshua was dropped four times and stopped by Andy Ruiz. Joshua reclaimed the titles when he dominated Ruiz over twelve rounds in their December rematch.
“It will be a very close fight. We are very fortunate to see Tyson at close quarters in my gym and I think he is on a different level,” Hatton told Daily Mail.
“I think with his boxing IQ, he can fight on the inside as he did in his last fight or he can box from a distance. He has got movement, the hand speed, the jab, the defence and I think his last fight showed he has got the talent.
“I think he has too much in his Arsenal for AJ. Yes, AJ has the punching power to hurt him and knock him out but whether he gets him is another thing. If you are asking me where my money is going, I’d have to say Tyson Fury.”
Retired former middleweight contender Matthew Macklin is also backing Fury to come away with a win.
“I think Fury wins on points. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion, I know a lot of people are really favouring Fury now because of his great win over Wilder and with AJ, the Ruiz loss took the shine off him a little bit,” Macklin said.
“I think it’s a great fight. Joshua is definitely a better fighter than Wilder all-round, he is much better on the inside and up close. But I think Fury is the man in the heavyweight division, his smartness, his jab, his mobility and his all-round general boxing IQ, I definitely think that Fury is the favourite and I would pick him to win on points.”
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