Anthony Joshua has been backed to knock out Tyson Fury in their anticipated blockbuster all-British showdown by former great Bernard Hopkins.
The two heavyweight world champions have agreed financial terms to put their belts on the line for two mouth-watering fights, the first of which is expected to take place next year.
Both Joshua and Fury will have more immediate business to deal with first but former middleweight king Hopkins has given his take on how he sees the future super-fight going.
“Joshua vs Fury is a fight that both guys could win or lose,” he told Sky Sports’ Toe 2 Toe podcast. “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 – what not to do ever again – Joshua beats Fury by knockout late. It will be an interesting, exciting five or six rounds at the beginning.
Then Joshua’s athleticism, boxing IQ and experience would overwhelm Fury.
Joshua would come out of a dust-storm based on his experience. At this point he has to make a really serious statement based on [the Andy Ruiz Jr loss].
“This fight is Joshua’s stamp of approval of being great. He’s not there yet. He is in legacy-building mode.”
AJ, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO straps, will first face Kubrat Pulev while Fury is set to defend his WBC world title in a trilogy clash with Deontay Wilder later this year.