Former world cruiserweight champion and current Sky Sports boxing commentator Johnny Nelson has backed Anthony Joshua to defeat Tyson Fury if their planned heavyweight unification superfight takes place next year.
Nelson held the WBO cruiser title from 1999 until 2005, and remains the division’s longest-reigning champion.
And he believes both men really want the fight, despite some of the mind games both current heavyweight kings have aimed at each other in recent weeks.
“Fury might say that AJ is scared and running, but both fighters want this fight,” Nelson told Talksport at the launch of he and Spencer Oliver’s new fitness app, Get ON it.
“Both fighters are fighting men and confident of getting the win — so let’s never get that confused.
“This is something they want. Once they get their commitments out of the way there will be no more excuses.”
When he was asked to stick his neck out and pick a winner, Nelson added: “That’s the tricky one.
“I’ve gone public in saying I think Anthony Joshua is the all round better fighter. I think Tyson Fury is better tactically and the more technically equipped, but AJ is the all-rounder.
“He can fight, he can box, he’s an athlete. Tyson Fury is a boxer.
“I think both men are now at a stage where they’ve done so much and learned so much in their careers that they’re so neck and neck.
“But, I’d go with Anthony Joshua because he’s shown me a lot more variety in his arsenal.”
Earlier this year both sides agreed in principle to two fights, and with Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren set to finally meet later this month, a deal could be finalised if Joshua gets past Kubrat Pulev and Fury emerges from his trilogy with Deontay Wilder with his unbeaten record intact.