IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he needs to fight WBC champion Fury for the sake of boxing to help the sport. Joshua vs. Fury would be big in the UK, but nowhere else.
It’s more of a good domestic scrap than one that would resonate with the casual boxing fans in the U.S and other countries.
That’s not to say that Joshua and Fury are domestic level fighters because they’re clearly not. But in terms of popularity, they’re domestic level with their respective fan bases.
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) says he intends on fighting Fury next, provided that he wins his fight this month on September 25th against Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson beats Deontay Wilder on October 9th.
Given what happened last time Joshua overlooked an opponent ahead of his first fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019, it would be better for him to stay dialed in for the Usyk fight.
Joshua will be facing the pumped-up former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) in front of 60,000 fans in 11 days from now at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in North London.
“Do I need Tyson Fury on my record? I need it,” Joshua said to 5 Live Boxing Podcast. “We need it for boxing.
“Training camp is hard. To get better is very difficult in boxing. To fight Tyson Fury is a big challenge.
“I’m going to put that pressure on myself to actually get better. But it’s what we all need; I need it. Come on, let’s see how good I am.
If all goes well for AJ, he’ll beat Usyk and then wait for the smoke to clear from the Fury vs. Wilder III fight on October 9th. Of those two fighters, Joshua has talked of ONLY wanting to fight Fury.
He hasn’t said anything about wanting to fight Wilder, which could be a sign that Joshua won’t agree to fight the American if he dethrones Fury.
It’s easy to predict how this will all unfold. What will likely play out if Wilder beats Fury, Dillian Whyte will then fight Deontay. But if Fury wins, he’ll go straight to a fight with Joshua.
“Let’s see how far I can take myself during this period. It’ll be a good challenge mentally. Not about him, but because I actually want to do well,” said Joshua.
AJ shouldn’t be thinking about Fury right now because many things need to happen for that match to occur within a reasonable time span.
Joshua and Fury will both need to win, and the fight will be negotiated successfully. That won’t be easy. Even if it goes get made. Who’s to say that they’ll be able to make it through their training camps without getting hurt?
Something could happen that will delay the fight. For example, we saw Fury come down with COVID 19, delaying his previously scheduled July 24th fight with Wilder until October 9th.