Tyson Fury says heavyweight Anthony Joshua might combat subsequent is ‘like Ivan Drago’

Tyson Fury once compared Anthony Joshua’s potential opponent Daniel Dubois to Rocky villain Ivan Drago.

Joshua looks set to step into the ring with the winner of the Filip Hrgovic vs Daniel Dubois bout at Wembley Stadium come September. The pair’s Saudi Arabia clash on June 1 is set to be for the IBF heavyweight title, which is expected to be stripped off Oleksandr Usyk, despite the Ukrainian’s victory over Fury to claim the undisputed championship.

The Wembley showdown in September could see the belt up for grabs, offering Joshua a shot at becoming a three-time heavyweight world champ. Fury has not been shy about his respect for Dubois, who shares a promoter with him in Frank Warren of Queensbury Promotions. But it’s Fury’s past run-ins with Croatian powerhouse Hrgovic as Eddie Hearn once floated him as a possible opponent for Fury.

READ MORE: Tyson Fury told ‘you can’t play Gypsy games’ against someone like Oleksandr Usyk after loss

READ MORE: Tyson Fury takes trip to tip as he’s brought back down to earth after Usyk defeat

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Back in the summer of 2023, while Fury’s team were scouting for adversaries, Hearn suggested he’d be keen to throw Hrgovic into the mix. Despite this, the Matchroom boss reckoned Fury wouldn’t fancy a scrap with the undefeated Croatian, reports the Mirror.

Last year, Hearn told Boxing Social: “If he wants, he can fight Filip Hrgovic. If he is looking for an opponent, we’ve got the Hrgovic fight.

“Tyson Fury is smart, he doesn’t want a risky fight. Before Joe Joyce got beat he kept saying ‘Yeah once I’ve fought Usyk then you can get it Joyce’ because he didn’t really fancy the Joyce fight. I know he thinks he can win the fight but he will only take those big fights if the money is massive.”

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British boxer Anthony Joshua (L) competes with Cameroonian-French boxer Francis Ngannou during their heavyweight boxing match in Riyadh's Kingdom Arena indoor stadium, on March 9, 2024
Joshua knocked out Ngannou in his last fight

Filip Hrgovic celebrates after winning the Final Eliminator for the IBF Heavyweight World Title fight against Zhang Zhilei at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Hrgovic is still unbeaten

The showdown wasn’t able to move forward and Fury took up Francis Ngannou’s challenge instead. The Gypsy King managed to narrowly beat Ngannou via a controversial split-decision.

Meanwhile, Fury has been substantially more vocal about Dubois. The youthful heavyweight bounced back from a knockout by Usyk last summer to defeat Jarell Miller in Saudi Arabia.

When speaking of his hard-hitting fighting style, Fury gave the ultimate compliment by comparing the young Brit to Rocky villain Drago. The 35-year-old gushed to BT Sport: “Daniel Dubois. He’s a big, strong lad and whatever he hits falls. He’s like Ivan Drago, isn’t he? ‘I will hit you and break you, no matter what happens’.”

Daniel Dubois looks on following victory in the Heavyweight fight between Daniel Dubois and Jarrell Miller during the Day of Reckoning: Fight Night at Kingdom Arena on December 23, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Dubois is known for his huge punching power

Dubois boasts 19 knockouts amongst his 20 wins and has seen defeat just twice – against Usyk last summer and Joe Joyce in 2020. On the other hand, Hrgovic holds an impressive 17-0 record with 14 knockouts.

Hrgovic was the first to conquer Zhilei Zhang when he claimed a controversial unanimous decision victory in 2022. This bout should have earned him a title shot at Usyk, but the Ukrainian chose to contend against Fury for the undisputed championship instead.