Tyson Fury’s bet with Anthony Joshua which sparked decade long-rivalry

The pair sparred in 2010, with a Rolex watch up for grabs if Joshua – then an amateur – was able to knock down up-and-coming pro Fury

Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have been rivals for over a decade – and it all started with a friendly sparring session in 2010.

The pair are set to fight for the unified heavyweight championship of the world on August 14th, in a bout that will net each man in excess of £53million.

But they have already shared the ring once before – at ABC gym in Finchley with nothing but a Rolex watch on the line.

At the time, Fury was a cocky up-and-comer with an 11-0 record, while Joshua was a fresh-faced 20-year-old who had just won the ABA Championships.

The Manchester fighter arrived at Joshua’s amateur gym offering to spar whoever was available, and coach Sean Murphy offered up the youngster to take on the future heavyweight champion.

There are conflicting reports over what happened over the three rounds, but general consensus is that Joshua stunned Fury early, before the more experienced pro turned it around to win the second.

Anthony Joshua’s rivalry with Tyson Fury stretches back 11 years


Action Images via Reuters)

However, there are conflicting reports on the third round, which Murphy has claimed his fighter won, while the now WBC champion has said that his young opponent couldn’t land a glove on him.

Fury had been offering any young fighter who wanted to spar him that he would give them his Rolex if they could land a shot that knocked him down.

Reportedly Joshua asked if the Rolex was up for grabs, after having failed to land a knockdown, and Fury is said to have replied by telling him ‘you almost had it, kid’.

Less than two years after the September 2010 spar, Anthony Joshua was an Olympic Champion, and Tyson Fury was forging his path to a heavyweight title fight with Wladimir Klitschko.

The duo appear to have a tumultuous relationship, where Fury has flip-flopped between heaping praise on his rival and sharing a joke with him over the phone.

Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, Lineal and The Ring heavyweight titles, but was forced to vacate his titles after a battle with depression saw him medically unfit to defend.

However, before Fury had officially relinquished all of his belts, he was stripped of the IBF title when the governing body demanded he fight lesser-known mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkove, instead of his contractually obligated rematch with Klitschko.

The belt was eventually won by Charles Martin, who defended his title against none other than Anthony Joshua in London on April 9th 2016, just months after Fury had won the belt from the Ukrainian ‘super champion’.

Since then, the pair have been on a collision course, and have traded verbal barbs, including a meeting in Marbella last year.

Joshua has claimed that Fury will sometimes call him on Facetime to taunt him and claim that should they ever fight, he’ll be knocked out early.

But those calls have stopped as of late, and now the more than a decade-long rivalry will be settled on August 14th in Saudi Arabia.

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