The crestfallen heavyweight is open to a showdown with the ‘Gypsy King’.
Anthony Joshua has indicated that he is open to a best of British heavyweight boxing clash by responding to a callout from domestic rival and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
According to promoter Frank Warren, London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Joshua – who is currently licking his wounds after a second consecutive title defeat to Aleksandr Usyk – will receive a fight offer as early as Tuesday.
Ukrainian Usyk relieved Joshua of his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles in London in September 2021 by beating him on all three judges’ scorecards, and then won a closer split decision over ‘AJ’ in Jeddah last month.
This development saw Fury come out of retirement after hanging his gloves up twice since knocking out Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April, and then call out Usyk on Friday for a duel to crown the four-belt era’s first-ever undisputed heavyweight champion.
Accusing Usyk of being reluctant to face him, however, Fury has since turned his attentions to Joshua, who swiftly stepped up to the challenge.
“Yeah, calm,” Joshua wrote on Twitter while quote-tweeting a Fury post.
“I don’t do the online discussions just for clout,” he added in a dig at the Mancunian. “So if [you’re] really about it shout 258mgt [Joshua’s management company].
“I’ll be ready in December,” Joshua vowed, before signing off with: “Khalas,” an Arabic phrase meaning “enough”.
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) September 5, 2022
Joshua was directly responding to a tweet from Fury which contained a mock-up fight poster containing the pair and saw Fury ask him: “Yo, Anthony Joshua, what you saying Big G?”
“Let’s give the fanz what they want as Usyk is b*tching??? I got the date and venue who will rule Britannia?” Fury added.
In a separate social media video address, Fury also teased that he would be “fighting soon, within the next few months”.
“I think that before I announce an opponent, that I need to do this just in case,” Fury went on.
“Anthony Joshua, I know you’ve just lost a fight to Usyk and you’re belt-less at the moment. I’d like to give you an opportunity to fight me for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world and the lineal championship in the next few months.
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) September 5, 2022
“I’m giving you a few months’ notice. If you’re interested I’ll send you the date over and we can rumble. A ‘Battle of Britain’ for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world.
“Let me know if you are interested. If not, I will select another opponent,” Fury signed off.
Meanwhile on Tuesday morning, Joshua’s promotor and Matchroom head Eddie Hearn has revealed that he has already touched bases with Fury’s camp, or more specifically the son of his UK representative Frank Warren, George, about the clash and it taking place at the end of the year.
“Personally I don’t feel Fury is serious, but if he is, as I said to the Warrens last night, 100% we will sit down and make the fight,” Hearn insisted to TalkSport.
“I would love to get really excited about this,” Hearn admitted. “Because it’s the fight that I get stopped in street for more than any fight that could be made, and it’s a fight that AJ has wanted for a long time.
“Don’t forget, we signed for this fight last year before the arbitration forced the Deontay Wilder fight for Tyson Fury,” Hearn reminded the boxing public, with an agreement for two superfights said to have been penned before Fury had to face Wilder for the third time and Usyk overturned the applecart by beating Joshua.
“So it’s an interesting one, because last week he retired, then he came back to fight Usyk, then he made an offer to Derek Chisora, then he wanted half a billion, then he’d retired again, then he’s fighting Usyk in December and now he’s fighting AJ,” Hearn continued.
“The message is quite clear from AJ, we don’t want to get involved in a backwards and forwards, we want the fight, it’s the fight he’s wanted for a long time.
“We had plans after the Usyk defeat to come back in December and then go again in March, get active and get the rhythm going again and then try and fight for the world heavyweight title.
“But, I know having spoken to AJ, if that fight is there and they’re serious, which I have my doubts about, but for the good of trying to make it happen let’s believe Tyson Fury and I said to George Warren last night, get the details and the offer over to us and I’ll take it to AJ, he’s ready to go,” Hearn demanded.
Wasting no time, Fury has already reacted to these remarks from Hearn and said: “This is [an] easy fight to make, normal champion to challenger privileges and I’m 100% serious.”
“Let’s rumble UK,” Fury added.
Shortly after, Warren revealed to TalkSport that an offer would be sent over to Joshua for a November meeting.
“The terms we are gonna put forward I think are very, very fair. Tyson is being extremely fair,” Warren said.
With Usyk ruling himself out of a December clash that was tipped to take place the weekend of the World Cup final on December 18, Fury meeting Joshua and potentially beating him would prove a point before a summer blockbuster against Usyk for all the marbles.
For Joshua, the battle of the Brits might also represent his last shot at a strap he has never owned in the WBC title, having previously boasted its inferior International edition in 2015.