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Five sparring partners for Anthony Joshua to help practise for Tyson Fury’s bizarre and unusual style and height

ANTHONY JOSHUA faces the tallest of orders in tracking down training partners to mimic giant maverick Tyson Fury.

When AJ was toppled by tiny chubster Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019, he had spent five months planning to fight 6ft 4in juggernaut Jarrell Miller, only for the compulsive drug cheat to blow his shot six weeks out.

Anthony Joshua is aiming to become the unified heavyweight champion this year


Anthony Joshua is aiming to become the unified heavyweight champion this yearCredit: PA:Press Association
Tyson Fury poses a unique challenge for AJ


Tyson Fury poses a unique challenge for AJCredit: PA:Press Association

The stumpy yet speedy Mexican was drafted in at late notice and stunned the world but Team AJ got it right the second time around with specific sparring partners to mimic Ruiz Jr’s size and style.

It was not easy to find 5ft 10in fighters, weighing around 19st, with deceptively fast hands, but the brains behind the scenes like Rob McCracken and David Ghansa flew guys in from Germany and America to perfectly prepare Joshua for rematch revenge.

But finding anyone 6ft 9in, let alone someone who can fight in either stance, with the footwork of a man half his size and an encyclopedic boxing brain, is a very different challenge.

SunSport asked Ben Davison, the trainer who guided Fury back from a mental health breakdown to an iconic draw with Deontay Wilder, who he would scout if in AJ’s corner and he puffed out his cheeks and admitted AJBoxing has a fight on their hands.

Ivan Dychko

Dychko fought Joe Joyce at the 2016 Olympics


Dychko fought Joe Joyce at the 2016 OlympicsCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd

As well as sounding like a Rocky baddie, Dychko is the real deal in terms of Fury Faking It.

The powerhouse is 6ft 9in, the same as the Gypsy King, and is talented enough to have won bronze at two Olympics.

AJ knows the Kazakh too, having beaten him in the semi-finals of the London 2012 games, so hopefully there are no hard feelings if he does reach out.


The 30-year-old is not just a beanpole with a pair of gloves either, as an amateur he scored wins over Efe Ajagba, Mahammadrasul Majidov and Zhilei Zhang.

Since turning pro in 2017, Dychko has made America his home and reached 9-0 so he might still be up for some elite sparring. The issue would be flying him over.

Robert Helenius

Robert Helenius, seen here against Chisora, poses a tall target for any fighter that faces him


Robert Helenius, seen here against Chisora, poses a tall target for any fighter that faces himCredit: EPA

The Finland giant is 6ft 7in and has proven to be almost as unpredictable as Tyson Fury at times.

He was gifted a criminal win over Derek Chisora for the European title in 2011, in his Helsinki home, and stunk out Cardiff when he ran away from Dillian Whyte for 12 rounds in 2017.

But his shock March KO win over highly rated Adam Glownacki smashed his career back on track – almost in the same style in which Fury suddenly had the power to demolish Deontay Wilder after a career as a stick-and-mover.

That win, however, has shoved Helenius up the WBA’s rankings and he might be too close to AJ for them to share friendly practice rounds.

But if the trip over from Finland is smooth enough then the pair might become training buddies.

Otto Wallin

Otto Wallin bloodied Tyson Fury back in 2019


Otto Wallin bloodied Tyson Fury back in 2019Credit: Getty Images – Getty

If the Swede who slashed 47 stitches into Tyson Fury’s face in 2019 is still in Europe, he might be able to offer the Watford man some much-needed southpaw sparring.

The 6ft 5in 30-year-old is shorter than Fury but he was not dwarfed by the undefeated ace when they went the distance in Vegas and he will have Fury’s best tricks fresh in his mind.

Joshua also knows Wallin from a 2011 amateur fight that went the Brit’s way and, if he gets through a February 20 fight with AJ victim Dominic Breazeale, he could offer some crucial leftie sparring.

Hughie Fury

Hughie Fury is unlikely to cross the family divide


Hughie Fury is unlikely to cross the family divideCredit: Alamy

The chances of Tyson’s little cousin crossing the family divide and helping AJ for a fight with his own flesh and blood is none-to-impossible but there are few people on the planet who could ape Tyson better.

Hughie’s dad Peter was the man who guided Tyson’s early career and they share the same switch-hitting style that can leap from sublime to infuriating in nanoseconds.

Tyson, Hughie and Peter seemed inseparable leading up to the brilliant 2015 win over Wladimir Klitschko. 

But Tyson quit their Bolton gym for his comeback and the wounds do not seem to have heeled. 

However, so strong is the Traveller code, that even AJ’s call might go unanswered at that Fury household.

David Price

The Price could be right for AJ


The Price could be right for AJCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Stylistically, the 6ft 8in self-doubting Scouser and mesmerizing Gypsy showman could not be more different.

But they share similar dimensions and Fury’s last performance proved he might now have the sort of booming right hand that could be compared to the Price equaliser he sadly failed to land at crucial times of his career.

Fury and Price, 37, are old and bitter rivals, after the Liverpool man won a 2006 amateur bout and went to the 2008 Olympics ahead of his Morecambe rival but his career has been a painful disappointment.

But Price remains the last Englishman to beat Fury so he might be able to hand the 31-year-old vital pointers.

Anthony Joshua reveals favourite KO of his career was knocking out Dillian Whyte

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