Anthony Joshua continues to amplify his desire to face Tyson Fury in his next fight – whenever that is.
The British superstar drew criticism for declining to call out Fury after his ninth-round demolition of Kubrat Pulev on Dec. 12 at the SSE Arena in London. Since then, Joshua has made the media rounds to clarify his stance, insisting that he has every intention to face the “Gypsy King” immediately in what would be the biggest all-British heavyweight fight in recent memory and an opportunity to settle the “undisputed” label (Joshua own the WBO, IBF, and WBA belts, while Fury owns the WBC belt).
“How close is the Fury fight? I promise you it’s happening,” he wrote in a guest column in the recent issue of Boxing News. “But until you hear it from me, don’t buy into anything. I’m serious about the fight so when I announce it you’ll know it’s real.
“I’m taking my time because there has been a lot of back-and-forth for years. I’ve been chasing this road to 'undisputed' and when the time is right I’ll announce it and I’ll have my mind fully focused on the job at hand.”
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs), who is promoted by Eddie Hearn, seemed to imply that the only way a fight with Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), who is promoted by Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Frank Warren, could fall apart is if Fury balked at the financial terms. Joshua is on record as saying that he believes the total pot should be split 50-50.
“When it was Deontay Wilder in my way, that was my focus and he admitted we gave him lucrative offers that he turned down,” Joshua said. “Now it’s Tyson Fury that’s my pure focus. The offers will be made, substantial offers.
“I’ve fought many champions before so it’s obvious to see we’ve done business with world champions before. It’s no different with Fury, he should take this fight with both hands. The money will be split down the middle.”
There are potential complications to this superfight on Joshua’s end as well. As the owner of three of the major heavyweight trinkets, Joshua has been put in a position in which he must satisfy a slew of mandatory challenges. His WBO mandatory is former cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, who has been beating the drums for the past year for a chance to face Joshua.
Joshua hinted that he would be willing to give up certain belts in order to secure a Fury fight in the event that the sanctioning bodies try to enforce their mandatory rulings.
“It would be special if all the belts were on the line but I feel like the cries from the public are just for me to fight Tyson Fury,” Joshua said.