Anthony Joshua ‘boxed Tyson Fury’s head off’ in secret sparring session after being offered Rolex if he could drop him

ANTHONY JOSHUA boxed Tyson Fury’s ‘head off’ in their only-ever sparring session, his former coach claimed.

The heavyweight superstars have shared the ring only once, at the Finchley Amateur Boxing Club in 2010.

Tyson Fury sparred Anthony Joshua in 2010
Anthony Joshua with his former amateur coach Sean Murphy

At the time, AJ had only been boxing for two years but had just won the prestigious ABA title at super-heavyweight.

Fury meanwhile, was a promising and unbeaten heavyweight prospect looking for some sparring.

No one could have forseen the impact that three-round sparring session would have had almost 11 years ago.

It remains debeated between the pair on what truly happened, but one man with insight from ringside is Finchley trainer Sean Murphy.

And in an interview with BBC from December released on the latest Costello & Bunce podcast, Murphy gave his recount of the session.

He said: “I think he was expecting, because he knew he was only like 18 and hadn’t been boxing long, he was expecting to have some easy few rounds.

Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury sparring: Infamous 2010 session told round-by-round


“They’ve come out and Josh has thrown a jab, right uppercut, left hook and he’s on wobbly legs, rubber legs!

“He’s grabbed hold of the ropes and I’ve said to him, ‘Mate, you can’t hold the ropes, you’ve got to let go of the ropes’.

“So, he let go of the ropes and said, ‘OK’. So anyway, they’ve done the first round, Josh really got the better of him in the first round.

“Come out for the second round I’ve said to Josh, ‘Just go and do what you’ve done, relax, straight punching, nothing overly brilliant’.

“He’s come out for the second round and Tyson starts mouthing off to Josh now, he’s getting in his ear talking to him.

“And Josh is getting a bit wild, he’s trying to knock him out now Josh and he’s come back and I’ve said, ‘What are you doing?’

“I said, ‘Just stick to your boxing, do what I told you’. So he’s gone out the next round, ingnored the talking and just boxed his heads off.”


With Fury said to have been bettered, the future two-time champion pleaded but was denied a fourth round.

Murphy said: “Tyson gone, ‘No, no, no,’ and he’s begging for one more round.

“I went, ‘Nah, get out Josh, you’ve done three rounds’, because I knew what the craic was, he was going to try and put it on him next.

“Which Josh probably could have handled, but I wasn’t going to have it because if he weighed us in we would have done five rounds, if he paid for it.

“Because, he’s an an amateur boxer, I’m not letting him go in with a professional and get nothing for it.”

At the time, the story goes Fury was offering any and all sparring partners his Rolex if he was dropped.

And Joshua had a sense of satisfaction knowing the expensive watch was almost his.

Murphy recalled: “Josh looked over to him and said, ‘Was your Rolex up for grabs tonight?’

“And he started laughing Tyson, and Josh went, ‘I nearly got it, I nearly got it’.”

In an interview right after the spar, Fury, 33, said Joshua, 31, ‘gave me a beating’ for three rounds but years later retracted that statement.

The talking and disputing was set to be settled this summer after the two agreed terms for an all-British unification.

But Fury’s attempt to walk away from his contracted trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder, 35, was denied.

It leaves them due to rematch again on October 9, while Joshua faces mandatory challenger Oleksnadr Usyk, 34, on September 25.

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