By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
TYSON FURY reckons Anthony Joshua is only beating basketball bums. And the WBO, IBO and WBA heavyweight champion has no interest in taking the IBF belt off his fellow Brit.
Joshua puts his part of the world heavyweight crown on the line against unbeaten American Dominic Breazeale on Saturday night at the O2.
It is the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist’s first defence of the belt he stopped Charles Martin in two rounds for in April.
The 6ft 7in Breazeale is of similar stature to Martin and even though he has not lost in 17 professional fights, Fury is not too impressed.
He said: “I don’t see him giving much to be honest. They’re not fighters are they? They’re just big old lumps who can’t make it in basketball for whatever reason so they turn to fighting. They’re not true fighters, they’re just doing it for the paycheck.
“We saw it with the other one who just came over for a pay cheque, go home, happy days, he’s got a few quid in his bank, that was it – onto the next one.
“There are people out there who you could hit with a sledgehammer and they wouldn’t fall over. So don’t be mistaken that Joshua can punch a hole through anybody because that’s just not the case.
“We see these people who come in, take two or three punches and just want to go down. Then you see people with granite chins, 10 people could hit them at once and they wouldn’t go over. You can fight bums if you want to fight bums. I don’t think Breazeale is any good at all. He’s got an undefeated record but he’s no good – he’s not a fighter in my opinion.”
WBO and WBA heavyweight champion Fury also criticised Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn for the level of fighters he is matching Joshua with despite now being a world champion after 16 bouts.
He said: “They mention Joshua on the same level as a world champion and he is a world champion. You can be a world champion after seven fights like Leon Spinks or after 107 fights – you’re still world champion and you need to fight world-class people.
“If you’re ready, you’re ready and they’ve obviously decided to move him quick so they think he’s ready. If they didn’t want him to fight world class opposition they should have kept him at British and Commonwealth level.
“There are plenty of guys out there who could give him rounds if they wanted it, there are tough fights out there but obviously they are not opting for that. They are fighting people he can knock over which is good for him and the promoter but not good for him in the long run, I’ll tell you that now.”
Fury faces Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch of their November clash on July 9.
If the Brit beats the Ukrainian for a second time then the clamour for a clash with Joshua will be huge but the WBO and WBA title holder does not want the IBF belt on the line for that bout.
Fury was stripped of the IBF belt after he faced Klitschko because they ordered a mandatory defence he could not fulfil.
He added: “I can confirm I won't be fighting for the IBF any more — I won't be paying sanctioning fees or anything like that. Why would I pay for stuff or fight for something when they robbed me?
“For one, they knew full well I had a rematch clause, yet they still took my sanctioning fees to fight for the belt.
“They didn't return my money when they took the belt off me a week later — for me, that's daylight robbery.
“He can stay as the champion, whatever he is, he is the paper champion.
“But I won't be fighting for the IBF belt. I won't pay the sanctioning fees, so when I beat him he can keep the belt or it will become vacant.”
Tickets for Fury v Klitschko 2 are available from eventim.co.uk and 0844 847 8000. Watch exclusively live on BoxNation and go to boxnation.com to subscribe.