By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY JOSHUA has taunted Tyson Fury by telling the Gypsy King he gave up the throne in the heavyweight division.
The WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF champion - who is preparing to defend his belts against Alexander Povetkin next week - believes he is the No.1 at the weight and Fury must beat him to regain the crown.
Fury regards himself as the lineal champion, the fighter considered to be the best in the division, because he beat Wladimir Klitschko before Joshua.
But the former world champion – who faces WBC champion Deontay Wilder in December - then spent almost three years out of the ring battling mental health problems and a case with UK Anti-Doping.
Joshua, 28, said: “You can’t expect the whole division to go on hold. Fury had his issues and paused for three years. The whole division can’t wait and sit down, the ball keeps rolling.
“Charles Martin called me out, he wanted to fight me. So I stepped up and fought. Klitschko wanted to fight, I fought.
“Good luck to Fury, Wilder and myself. But when all’s said and done, I won’t be that geezer in the pub telling war stories about ‘I was the lineal champ’ I am not that type of geezer.”
Fury and Wilder believe their fight in Las Vegas later this year will decide who the king of the division is.
But Joshua insists he does not feel under any pressure to prove to the world he is still the best when he faces Russian Povetkin at Wembley on September 22.
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist believes his achievements speak for themselves as the unbeaten Brit heads into his 22nd professional fight.
He said: “I am the No.1 in the division. Name me a fighter that has a better record than me after 22 fights?
“I don’t have to show anything. History will tell you. History is all that matters. No one could knock the route we’ve taken. I have proved myself at the top level.
“I’ve been in at the deep end time and again. If people aren’t satisfied with it now, they never will be.
“Look at Floyd Mayweather, they are never happy with him and he is one of the greatest of all time.”
Joshua insisted preparations for Povetkin have gone perfectly as he trained in front of the world’s media yesterday.
But there was one mishap last week when his customised Range Rover car was stolen in London while he was up at his Sheffield training base.
Joshua added: “It’s an epidemic right now in London - people getting robbed of material things and cars. But it just teaches you to be understated.”