By Keith Idec
If Anthony Joshua’s schedule goes according to his supposed plan, he’ll beat Alexander Povetkin on September 22 at Wembley Stadium and then get ready for a heavyweight showdown with Deontay Wilder at the same venue April 13.
But if Joshua defeats Povetkin and his fight against Wilder doesn’t materialize next, Joshua gladly would face Tyson Fury in what would be a huge domestic event in the United Kingdom. Joshua discussed fighting Fury in an article published Sunday by The Sun, a London tabloid.
“There’s no stopping Fury from stepping up to the plate,” Joshua said. “If the Deontay Wilder fight didn’t happen, I would happily fight Fury.”
The 6-feet-6, 245-pound Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) would want Fury to be in better condition than he is today, though, if they were to meet. The 6-feet-9 Fury weighed 276 pounds for his technical knockout of Sefer Sefari on June 9 in Manchester, England.
Fury reportedly approached 400 pounds during his long layoff after he upset Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015. His victory over Sefari (23-2, 21 KOs) was his first fight in the 2½ years since he out-boxed Ukraine’s Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) to win the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles in Dusseldorf, Germany.
His immediate rematch with Klitschko was postponed and eventually canceled altogether because Fury sought treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction and depression.
The second fight of his comeback is scheduled for August 18 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) will encounter Italian southpaw Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KOs) in a 10-rounder on the Carl Frampton-Luke Jackson undercard at Windsor Park.
The 29-year-old Fury figures to be closer to the 247 pounds he weighed for the Klitschko fight when he opposes Pianeta.
“He’s still two stone over when he fought Wladimir Klitschko,” Joshua said. “Even though he’s lost weight, he’s still two stone over his peak weight. When he’s a couple pounds over, then I’ll say he’s at his peak again. Fury is not yet in condition. It’s up to him. When he’s ready, we’re ready.”
Joshua also questioned Fury’s training regimen.
“What does Fury do, two sessions a day?,” Joshua asked. “I would rather do two boxing sessions a day. He’s been saying he does one boxing session and one run. Why? Are you trying to be a part-time boxer and part-time track runner? I’d say get in the gym. Focus on your gym work. The best fighters spend more time in the gym than anywhere else.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.