If Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua would’ve gotten their way, the British heavyweight champions already would’ve fought.
Joshua just hopes both boxers win their upcoming championship defenses, so that they can finally come to an agreement for what would be the biggest boxing match in England’s history. If Fury loses to Deontay Wilder on October 9, however, Joshua stated during a Zoom conference call Wednesday that he would then box Wilder next.
Those scenarios depend, of course, on England’s Joshua conquering Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in their 12-round heavyweight title fight Saturday night in London. If Usyk upsets Joshua in their fight for Joshua’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts, Joshua would exercise the contractual right he says he has to an immediate rematch.
“So, we both have important fights of our career, both 50-50 fights as well, which is really good for boxing at the end of the day,” Joshua said. “So, inevitably I’ve got a rematch clause if the worst happens. I’m not too sure what Fury’s situation is. So, if I lose, I’m fighting Usyk again, the undisputed [title fight] gets put on hold. If I win, I’ll fight either one of them. If Fury wins, I’ll fight Fury. If Wilder wins, I’ll fight Wilder. If Fury wins and doesn’t take the fight with me because – on his hit list, he said that he wants to fight, I think he said he wants to fight Dillian [Whyte] first or [Dereck] Chisora first, or something like that – then I’ll fight Wilder.”
Sports books throughout the world favor Joshua by more than a 2-1 margin versus Usyk and Fury at 3-1 over Wilder. Whereas Fury and Wilder will fight for a third time two weeks from Saturday night, those two rivals have long expressed desires to finally fight Joshua.
“There’s no problem with challenging any fighter in the heavyweight division,” Joshua said. “It doesn’t always mean that they have to have a belt, either, if they’re a good opponent and they’re gonna give me a good challenge. Each fighter has to motivate you. They have to make you wanna get better in training camp. So, either one of those guys are good fighters, both have been champions. Fury’s gonna make his first [WBC] title defense in two weeks. Wilder has actually defended the belt a few times , so they’re both good fighters, both 50-50 in terms of where they are in their careers, and I’ll fight any of them any time, win, lose or draw in two weeks for them. Any one of them that’s ready, I’ll fight anyone.”
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) and Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) will square off in a Sky Sports Box Office main event in the United Kingdom and Ireland (6 p.m. BST; £24.95). DAZN will stream Joshua-Usyk in the United States (1 p.m. EDT) and in more than 200 additional countries and territories.
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), of Manchester, England, and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will headline an ESPN/FOX Sports Pay-Per-View show.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.