Anthony Joshua decided not to play Mr. nice guy on Tuesday in criticizing Tyson Fury for not bringing in the same kind of crowds that he’s brought during his career in selling out stadiums.
The IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) says Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) will finally get a chance to fight in front of a large soldout stadium, thanks to him.
AJ and Fury have signed a two-fight deal to fight twice in 2021, and the only things that can mess up those plans are Joshua’s December 12th opponent Kubrat Pulev and his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk.
If Joshua loses to either of those guys, it’ll put a crimp in his two matches with the 32-year-old Fury next year. Joshua can vacate his WBO title to avoid being forced to face Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) in early 2021, but he likely won’t. Joshua values his WBO title too much to vacate, and he could end up sorry if he fails to do so.
“If Fury could have sold out 90,000-capacity stadiums, then he would have done,” said Joshua to The Sun. “But he never has had the ability to attract those large numbers, not until he fights me.
“I have had those sorts of crowds against Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin at Wembley.
“I will fight Fury because in 50 years’ time, people will remember your character and I always want to be remembered as a risk-taker,” said Joshua in sounding very, very bitter.
It’s interesting all the bile that Joshua is spewing all of a sudden about Fury, but it’s weird with the timing for this. Joshua is supposed to be focused on his upcoming title defense against 39-year-old Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs).
Why isn’t Joshua talking up a storm about his match against Pulev? AJ is making the same mistake he did before his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in June of 2019.
If you remember the lead-up to that fight, Joshua was only talking about Deontay Wilder, and it was as if he was his next opponent instead of Ruiz.
Now we’re seeing Joshua do the same thing by talking about Fury rather than his next fight against Pulev at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
It could be that Joshua has taken note of the fact that there is zero buzz about his title defense against Pulev from fans.
So rather than Joshua talk about a fight that the fans have no interest in, he’s using a different method to grab their attention by talking about the fight they are interested in with the Fury clash. That’s a sly move from Joshua, isn’t it?
“I fought for the world title in my 16th pro fight, and even though people will say Charles Martin wasn’t a great champion — and he wasn’t — that win put me in the company of great fighters,” said Joshua in continuing to brag.
“Then I beat Klitschko, a great champion, still early in my career,” said Joshua,
None of this is talk is going to mean anything if Joshua loses to Pulev on December 12th. I just hope it doesn’t come back to haunt him and bite him in the backside. It’ll be Fury that’ll be trash-talking, and he’ll have a field day if that happens.