Anthony Joshua says blockbuster Tyson Fury fight needed to determine number one status
Anthony Joshua has said a blockbuster fight for the undisputed world heavyweight title with Tyson Fury is needed to determine a single dominant figure in the division. Joshua, 30, defeated Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr in a December rematch in Saudi Arabia to win back his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles while Fury won the WBC title in Las Vegas two months ago with a seventh-round stoppage of Deontay Wilder.
“If you really want to say you’re number one, come fight me. Let’s get it on. I’ve got the rest of the belts so it only makes sense,” Joshua told Sky Sports, addressing fellow Briton Fury.
“I’m the unified heavyweight champion of the world, he’s the WBC champion. What it will prove, me and him fighting? There will be one dominant figure in the heavyweight division that will have all of the belts and become undisputed.
“Logically to prove yourself as number one, I have to fight Tyson Fury. He has to fight Anthony Joshua.”
Joshua’s next bout with the mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev, which was scheduled for June 20, was postponed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
American Wilder had called for a rematch with Fury and that was pushed back from July 18 to a likely date in October due to the virus which has shut down sport globally.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, who manages Joshua, had floated the idea that a unification bout with Fury might take priority in the event of a long postponement.
“It would be amazing to tell Pulev ‘I think it’s best if you step aside for now’ and to tell Wilder ‘we have bigger fish to fry’,” Joshua added.
“That fight (with Fury) needs to happen because there will never be another time like this again.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)