SugarHill Steward outlines why Tyson Fury is ‘serious’ about training Anthony Joshua


Tyson Fury’s offer to coach Anthony Joshua wasn’t a joke, according to his trainer SugarHill Steward. Joshua was left stunned in September when he was outclassed by Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, losing his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight belts to the Ukrainian in the process.

The 32-year-old responded by immediately invoking his rematch clause, and now he and southpaw Usyk, 34, are currently negotiating a second bout to be held in spring 2022.

When he learnt of the development, Fury told ILF TV he believed he could help ‘AJ’ avenge his defeat, saying: “I feel I can give him the mental toughness, to give him the ability to beat Usyk. I could give him the right instructions to do the job.

“It’s not that his own trainer can’t, but there is a way that you can beat Usyk and only I can teach him that.”

Fury did emphasise that he would only fulfil his pledge if he himself was able to beat Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight, a feat he duly achieved in a thrilling bout in Las Vegas, as the 33-year-old retained his WBC and Ring Magazine titles.

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His offer to help his heavyweight rival was widely viewed as goading, with Joshua himself making light of the remarks by joking “maybe he’s after a quid or two.”

However, Steward, who was appointed Fury’s head trainer in 2019, claimed in an interview with talkSPORT that his man was being entirely genuine.

“We are 100 per cent serious about helping Joshua in camp. We want him to defeat Usyk, for a start, because we want to see Fury against Joshua, and so do all the fans of boxing in the world,” he said.

‘It is not a ruse or a joke, we would happily help Joshua because he is capable of beating Usyk in the rematch, and this is nothing new. In the old days, all boxers travelled to different gyms for assistance. This is a sport, and we have to think of it as a sport.”

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A bout between Fury and Joshua has long been touted, and it seemed the pair would finally get their wish this year as they began negotiations, only for Wilder to win a subsequent legal case which ruled Fury had to face the American for a third time before he fought anyone else.

It was then assumed that wins for both fighters this winter would finally pave the way for a match-up in early 2022, only for Joshua to suffer his second professional defeat at the hands of Usyk.

Steward, who was formerly known as Javan Hill before changing his name, said the all-British fight still needs to happen for the sake of the sport.

“Never forget that when heavyweight boxing is strong, the whole of boxing is strong,” Steward said. “The biggest fight in the sport is Fury versus Joshua, and we all know what that would do for the sport with the two of them fighting for the undisputed crown. It couldn’t be bigger.”

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