Anthony Joshua will beat Tyson Fury when the pair finally meet in the ring, according to former world champion Bernard Hopkins.
Hopkins believes the fight will be a close one, but will result in a late knockout.
Speaking on the Toe 2 Toe podcast, he said: “Joshua vs Fury is a fight that both guys could win or lose. I like Joshua to be tested, to get his feelings hurt early – that might be a knockdown but he will get up.
“Because of the lesson that he learned being, not unprepared, but overconfident, he paid a big price. He redeemed himself.
Now that is in his memory… Joshua beats Fury by knockout late.
Former middleweight champion Hopkins went on to say: “This fight is Joshua’s stamp of approval of being great. He’s not there yet. He is in legacy building mode.”
The heavyweight champions are set to fight twice in 2021 to decide who is the ultimate king of the division.
However, they must first overcome their respective opponents. Fury is scheduled to face Deontay Wilder for a third time to defend his newly won WBC belt, although no date has been set just yet.
Meanwhile, AJ is set to fight the Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in London, a bout which was originally due to take place on June 20. AJ will defend his WBA (super), IBF and WBO belts against Pulev, who has won all but one of his 29 professional fights.
Since retiring from fighting in 2016, Hopkins has become a promoter for Oscar De La Hoya’s company Golden Boy. He held world championships in two weight classes during his successful career and beat fighters including Jean Pascal and Roy Jones Jnr.
However, some British fans may remember Hopkins for his loss to Welsh fighter Joe Calzaghe in 2008, when the ‘Pride of Wales’ dispatched of the American on away soil to extend his unbeaten record.
Whichever way you look at it, Fury vs Joshua is shaping up to be one of the biggest fights in heavyweight boxing history, as long as the pair can overcome their previous bouts first. If they do, then we might see an undisputed heavyweight world champion for the first time since Lennox Lewis.
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