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Five sparring partners for Tyson Fury that can help prepare him for Anthony Joshua including Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce

WANTED: 6ft 9in switch-hitting heavyweight with new-found KO power, Russian-ballet footwork and the boxing IQ of a veteran Vegas matchmaker.

If this undisputed clash is going to happen in the summer, Anthony Joshua and his team have a tough job on their hands tracking down suitable training partners to replicate the dimensions and abilities of Tyson Fury.

Tyson Fury celebrates his stunning seventh-round TKO victory over Deontay Wilder last February
Tyson Fury is set to throw down with fellow British powerhouse Anthony Joshua in the summer

But the Gypsy King’s two-fight trilogy with KO artist Deontay Wilder has left him with an iPhone packed with numbers for ideal AJ sparring.

The original clash in 2018 took Fury’s camp to Big Bear in California and then down to Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym.

Joe Joyce did around 30 rounds with Fury for that iconic draw, American Jonathan Rice helped out and even AJ’s cruiserweight protege Lawrence Okolie jetted out to train alongside his mentor’s rival.

David Adeleye, George Fox and Jordan Thomas were the three young Brits who were flown out to Nevada to prepare for the sensational rematch win in February, with rising American star and Top Rank stablemate Jared Anderson sneaking a few rounds in also.

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Now the pair are set to collide in Saudi Arabia in the summer and, with the lockdown travel restrictions playing havoc with training camps and plans, Fury and his team need to select their squad for the mega-money clash.

If Fury has to complete his camp in the UK, jetting Detroit trainer Steward in, he will probably have to keep his sparring partners local to abide with coronavirus protocols.

Thankfully the boom in British heavyweight boxing means he has a deep pool to swim with.

And while Kiwi buddy Joseph Parker might be unable to fly in and mutual friend Derek Chisora could prefer to remain neutral for a fight with AJ, there will be a queue of nearby boxers eager to learn from Fury.

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David Adeleye

6ft 4in – 15st 9lbs – 4-0 

The University-educated 24-year-old learned enough in the last camp to know he would be crazy to miss out on a second course.

The West Londoner soaked up everything he could directly from Fury but also from trainer’s Andy Lee and Sugarhill Steward.

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Under the same Frank Warren promotional banner as the WBC king, Adeleye watched Fury go through tactics and gameplans – even fake injuries – and never let anything leak out from the camp.

Adeleye is a couple of inches shorter and a couple of stone lighter than AJ but he would be a very handy man around the camp.

Tyson Fury could call on the services of David Adeleye ahead of his showdown with AJ

Joe Joyce

6ft 6in – 18st 6lbs – 12-0

The Juggernaut is completely trusted by Fury, following their sessions in 2018 and few people on the planet know AJ’s playbook better than Joyce.

The Putney man was AJ’s understudy on Team GB, with Josh winning gold at the 2012 Olympics and Joyce having to wait until 2016 to land a harsh silver.

The pair are both promoted by Frank Warren so arranging more practice rounds would be logistically smooth.

But Joyce’s November destruction of red-hot prospect Daniel Dubois has thrown him into world title contention so he might not want to be a sparring partner any longer.

But, if the 35-year-old orthodox powerhouse has no problem taking instructions from Fury’s team, then both men could learn plenty from each other again. 

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Tyson Fury could once again call on Joe Joyce to help him prepare for AJ

Daniel Dubois

6ft 5in – 17st 6lbs – 15-1

Four years ago in Bolton, amateur prospect Dubois was in Bolton sparring Hughie Fury ahead of making his pro debut.

Halfway through and without warning, Hughie’s 27st cousin – in the midst of a doping ban and mental health battle – hopped over the ropes and danced with the wonderkid.

Tyson Fury only did a round with the visitor but he enjoyed it and kept an eye on Dubois’ progress, even praising him after he beat his cousin Nathan Gorman for the British title in 2019.

Dubois’ loss to Joyce has set his career back a few fights but that gives the 23-year-old plenty of time to learn and improve, the men at the top of his division are all around a decade older.

If Fury wants a rapid Adonis of a man who can replicate AJ in a number of aspects, then Dubois should jump at the chance to learn more from the master.

Daniel Dubois could be called in by Team Fury to mimick Anthony Joshua

Lawrence Okolie

6ft 6in – 14st 4in – 16-0 

Eyebrows were raised when the cruiserweight jetted out to LA to help Fury prepare for the first Wilder fight but it sounded like an ego-free exercise in development without any rivalry due to Okolie’s friendship and managerial deal with Joshua.

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The idea of Okolie working with Fury ahead of an AJ fight is as unlikely as it is fascinating.

Would Okolie want to help and would AJ be happy sending him off to the opposing camp?

Could Okolie, 28, feed vital information back for his mentor to use against Fury or would the Gypsy King double-bluff Team Joshua and send Okolie back with fake gameplans, tactics and injury niggles.

This would be a soap-opera of a sparring agreement that could be hugely beneficial to someone very clever.

But with Okolie having a giant 82in reach and an awkward style, Josh might prefer to have him in his camp mimicking Fury’s best moves.

Lawrence Okolie has sparred with Tyson Fury in the past

Tony Yoka

6ft 7in – 17st – 9-0

There are a handful of European heavyweights who could be drafted in like Filip Hrgovic, Guido Vianello and Kubrat Pulev but Frenchman Yoka, 28, would be the closest option.

The 2016 Olympic winner is blessed with the same sort of speed and athleticism that AJ thrilled Britain with at London four years earlier and he is young enough in his career to still need elite sparring.

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Fury’s good friend and former sparring partner Dave Allen bravely took a brave beating from Yoka so he can vouch for his power and precision and let his fellow Brit know if he’s a suitable Joshua impersonator.

Tony Yoka could be a suitable Joshua impersonator for Fury




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