Anthony Joshua has reiterated his desire to fight Tyson Fury despite the deflation he felt when his highly publicized heavyweight world title unification contest fell apart this summer.
“Finally, finally, let’s do it!” he exclaimed when asked in a media call on Friday if he was encouraged by Fury’s suggestion that he was ready to fight Joshua in Saudi Arabia next year with a stadium rematch to be played in Britain.
“I would love that opportunity. What an honor it would be to fight Tyson, have another great fighter on my record, beat him and then we would move on. Yes, I would love that opportunity. “
In May, the day after Fury took to social media to confirm that the richest fight in boxing history would take place in Saudi Arabia on August 14, A US judge ruled that he was legally obligated to first defend his WBC title against Deontay Wilder.
Joshua will now risk his WBA, IBF and WBO titles against Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on September 25. Two weeks later, in Las Vegas, Fury will meet Wilder for the third time.
“We came close to doing it and Matchroom [his promoters] he did a great job handling an undisputed world fight heavyweight championship during a pandemic, ”Joshua said of his original plans to box Fury. And then it came to an end. Unfortunately, you guys were unable to cover what would have been one of the greatest boxing fights in history. But we’ll get there at some point. “
Joshua suggested that he wasn’t entirely surprised that Fury’s fight had collapsed. “We have known for a long time, with Fury, you always have something in the background. We know its history. He is someone who withdraws from fights. Even with the Wilder situation, it happened again. “
The third fight against Wilder was put together quickly and was scheduled for July 24. But it had to be delayed until October after Fury tested positive for Covid. “Good luck to him and we’ll see him sometime,” Joshua said of Fury.
“When you’re ready, we’ll be here waiting.” When asked if the frustration of not fighting Fury had been difficult to deal with, Joshua laughed. “I had to cancel all my offers on that mansion. Damn hell, Tyson. I’m not kidding. It’s part of the game. But it would have been great for boxing. It’s the fight everyone wants deep down. “
Joshua faces a test challenge against Usyk, the undefeated Ukrainian who was the undisputed world cruiserweight champion before ascending to boxing’s glamor division. “Matchroom and my management company put on a great night of boxing on September 25 against a great challenger. There are a large number of Ukrainian supporters in the UK and they will be in force. There will be 50-60,000 Brits coming out to fight. It is a very interesting fight. Even though it’s not Fury, it’s still a great fight.
“Although it is annoying, I am glad to be able to face an opponent who makes me want to get up in the morning because I want to improve and improve. Why am I passionate about it? Because I’m fighting a good boy. “
Meanwhile, in a much more discouraging encounter, Evander Holyfield returns to the ring Saturday night against Vitor Belfort. The fight will take place in Florida after Holyfield, who is 58 and should never be allowed to box competitively again, was denied a license to fight in California. Holyfield is one of Joshua’s most illustrious predecessors as a world heavyweight champion. But he took too many blows to the head in the ring and has been retired for 10 years.
Joshua, who has a deep respect for boxing history, tried to support Holyfield. “It’s phenomenal,” he said of the former champion’s desire to step back through the ropes again. But that generation of Hearns, Duran, Riddick Bowe, Holyfield, George Foreman, Bernard Hopkins? They are of a different breed. So let’s not be surprised. But yeah, at that age, good luck to him. Sometimes in life we just have to support people and let them be who they are. We all have opinions, but if this is what he wants to do, we just have to pat him on the back and tell him to do it. A man on a mission cannot be stopped and he goes for it. So good luck to him. “
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism