Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has backed Tyson Fury to overcome Deontay Wilder in their rematch next month.
The highly-anticipated bout takes place on February 22, 2020, 14 months after fighting to a controversial draw.
On that occasion, the ‘Gypsy King’ twice rose from knockdowns and looked to have snatched the title away from the WBC champion.
However, in one of the most controversial decisions in recent boxing history, the judges declared the match a draw and the pair will meet again in Las Vegas having each won two fights in the interim.
Manchester fighter Fury stopped Tom Schwarz before outpointing Otto Wallin, while the ‘Bronze Bomber’ knocked out Dominic Breazeale followed by Luis Ortiz.
And Joshua believes his fellow Brit is more prepared this time and will claim the victory in the repeat bout.
“I believe Fury will win,” he told Sky Sports.
“Wilder has shown you can’t blink for a second with him, it takes one punch, but it shows that a good boxer who’s young and fresh and who can make a game plan can be victorious for seven to X amount of rounds.
“Boxing is about hitting and not getting hit and Ortiz got hit by a big punch but Fury is evasive, he’s much bigger, he boxes on the back foot and flicks his jab so he is difficult to hit.
“He fought Wilder the first time after a long lay-off and I think Fury has taken some relatively soft touch fights got his confidence back and going into the new year as a new man, with a new team and a new mind set.
“He must feel something in him that is new and he wants to be the new heavyweight champion of the world.
“He has a good chance of beating Wilder as long as he sticks to his game plan for 12 rounds.”
Meanwhile, AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn revealed to talkSPORT that Joshua could be set for a fight in the Congo later this year, replicating Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974.
Hearn told talkSPORT’s Dom McGuinness: “Definitely the preference is a UK fight next, but I do believe that – having sold out Wembley twice and the Millennium Stadium twice – he still wants to look at other regions.
“When we talk about Democratic Republic of Congo, we kind of joke about that, but the idea behind that event is to stage it in the same arena in Kinshasa that the ‘Rumble the Jungle’ was held at.
“Forgetting money, because it’s not as lucrative as a Middle East fight, to do that on the résumé is something quite special.
“Right now we just wanna get it in the diary, next one, Kubrat Pulev, end of May, early June in London. That’s what we want.”