Anthony Joshua says Tyson Fury was able to KO Deontay Wilder in last bout because he lacked fighting intelligence

Anthony Joshua says Deontay Wilder lacked the boxing fundamentals to trouble Tyson Fury when they met in their trilogy match.

Wilder and Fury concluded their bitter rivalry with one of the greatest heavyweight title fights in modern history in Las Vegas in October.

Fury KO’d Wilder to retain his heavyweight title
Frank Micelotta/FOX

The Las Vegas spectacle contained all of the thrills and excitement befitting a Sin City showdown, with Fury down twice in the fourth round before clambering off the canvas to put Wilder out.

Although the ‘Bronze Bomber’ may lack a succinct knowledge of the sweet science, he possesses the heart and courage of a champion as he bullied his way back into the fight.

Yet Joshua, who lost his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles to Oleksandr Usyk just a fortnight before Wilder and Fury fought, believes Wilder let himself down by not adding the subtle techniques which separate good from great.

“He tried, but to get that power and that ferociousness, you have to have it up here [points to his head],” AJ said during a JD Sports round table

“Before you have it just here [clenches fists] at that level, you have to have it here [points to his head] as well.”

Wilder hit Fury with a shot which would have toppled any other heavyweight

The likes of Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko reigned supreme in the heavyweight division with a typically European heavyweight style – a stiff jab followed by a big right hand.

Yet the 32-year-old believes the size of heavyweights now has changed the game forever.

“Not in this day and age [can heavyweights jab for 12 rounds] because heavyweights are different,” Joshua added.

“I met the guy who makes gloves the other day, and he said that they never used to have to make special gloves. But now heavyweights are 17 to 19 stone and six-foot ten. The whole division is changed in the last, like, five years.

“And before, fighters could jab like that for 12 rounds and get away with it. They’d get a bit tired, but they were conditioned because they were lighter.

“But now, when you’ve got big guys [who are] 6ft 7in, they get tired.”

Fury, though, had a simple response to his rival’s assessment. Quote tweeting the story, he wrote on Twitter: “Irony of this mug,” a dig at Joshua’s defeat to Usyk where his game plan was widely criticised.

The Brit is hoping to regain his heavyweight titles when he fights Usyk in their rematch
Mark Robinson/Matchroom