WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury explains that it's not extremely important for him to gain a win over IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO champion Anthony Joshua.

Earlier this year, Fury and Joshua signed off on a two-fight agreement.

The two champions are close to finalizing a date and venue for the first encounter - with Saudi Arabia reportedly being the frontrunner to host.

Fury feels the luster of beating Joshua has been damaged - because of Joshua's 2019 stoppage loss at the hands of Andy Ruiz, who scored four knockdowns before gaining a stunning TKO win in the seventh.

"It was important to me a year or so ago when he was unbeaten but I've seen him knocked out before so it takes the cherry off the cake," Fury told ESPN .

"Before the loss against Ruiz, people thought he had a chance against me but if you look at the boxing forums and the votes, it's 90 percent in my favor.

"I really love challenges when people don't think I can win fights; that's when I rise to the challenge. With Anthony Joshua, he's a British guy, he's got a few belts so we'll make the fight and I'll show you what a real man is compared to a fake one.

"I'm very excited about the fight and I cant wait for it to happen, if it does happen. I'm light years ahead of these guys so the timing doesn't really mean that much but I want to stay active."

Fury has been out of the ring since February 2020, when he captured the WBC title with a seven round stoppage of Deontay Wilder at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Joshua, who reclaimed his titles with a dominant unanimous decision in a December 2019 rematch with Ruiz, was in action four months ago with a knockout of mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.