Tensions between the two heavyweight champions continue to flare as boxing fans keep waiting for the unification fight to be confirmed.
Anthony Joshua delivered perhaps his strongest words yet towards expected next opponent Tyson Fury in a recent interview, as the wait continues for an official announcement on their summer megafight.
Current WBA, WBO and IBF champ Joshua will put his belts up against the WBC strap of Fury in the proposed bout, one that could deliver a first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis achieved the feat more than 20 years ago.
With the WBO reportedly happy for Oleksandr Usyk and Joe Joyce to battle for an interim version of their belt before making a decision on whether to strip the AJ-Fury winner and elevate the Usyk-Joyce victor after a full unification has happened, all that is left is for the contracts to be completed, signed and sealed.
While speaking on the JD Sports ‘Road To Undisputed’ blog, Joshua upped the ante with some strong words about his rival’s history of offbeat capers before and during bouts.
“He (Fury) can bring whatever he wants, it don’t matter to me,” said Joshua. “The press conference antics, the fight antics, the hands behind the back, I love that stuff that’s all part of it you know that’s his job, but my job is to close the show.
“He’s a warm-up act, he’s there to do all that stuff but ultimately my job is to close the show and that’s all that matters.
“For him, he said that after he fights me, maybe he fights Chisora, then he’s ready to go off into the sunset. For me, I’ve still got so much more I want to do in this boxing game, the road to undisputed is part of the journey it’s not the end to the journey.
“That’s why I know I will get past this fight because I’m looking past him, I want more, this isn’t where this stops. The fight, god-willing, will be this year, I’m saying is going to be this year, I’m going to speak into existence and I will be victorious.”
Joshua went on to appraise his own performance his most recent outing, a ninth-round KO of Kubrat Pulev on Dec. 12. The champ was surprisingly harsh on himself.
“What would I give myself out of 10, a four because we are still searching for better,” he admitted. “Now this worked against Pulev fighting at a four, this might not work against the next man so that’s why we have to raise the game.
“For me, I still give myself a four because I have got so many styles to my game because if you notice in that fight the one-two may not have been landing, so I had to look for the uppercut, then I and to look for certain hooks around the side.
“There were so many times I had to adapt my style and that is the whole point of being a successful boxer.
“It’s not about being the man who lifts the most or being the man who can throw you know on the pads, it’s about being able to adjust in a fight so that’s why I give myself a four because I’m going through a massive transition in my game where no matter what man you put in front of me, short, tall, big, small, I’ll be able to defeat them all.”
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