Anthony Joshua has quashed rumours of him stepping aside to allow Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk to fight in an undisputed world heavyweight title bout.
Joshua is expected to face Usyk for a second time in the coming months, having activated the rematch clause in the pair’s contract, while Fury is set to fight Dillian Whyte in another world heavyweight title fight.
However, The Telegraph reported on Sunday that Joshua was considering taking £15 million to call off his planned bout with Usyk, in order to let the Ukrainian fight Fury next.
That now seems unlikely, as Joshua described reports of him stepping aside as “bullshit” in a video posted by TalkSport’s Michael Benson on Twitter.
Anthony Joshua responds to the rumours.
“You know what’s mad about all these interviews I see? I see certain interviews that quote what I said and I think to myself, ‘I haven’t done no interviews’,” Joshua said.
“I’m hearing people saying: ‘AJ accepts £15 million to step aside’. I ain’t signed no contract, I ain’t seen no contract.
“So as it stands, stop listening to the bullshit until it comes from me. I’m the man in control of my own destiny, I’m the man that handles my business.
“I’m a smart individual and I make calculated decisions every step of the way. Don’t listen to the bullshit from other sources. If I tell you something then you know it’s real.”
Anthony Joshua fires back at reports that he is “close to accepting” a £15million step-aside deal to enable Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk…
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) January 24, 2022
Tyson Fury has poked fun at his fellow British heavyweight over the rumours.
Although it now looks unlikely that Joshua will step aside, that didn’t stop Fury from poking fun at his heavyweight rival, posting a poll on Twitter asking people whether “the bum” will step aside.
Fury still looks set to fight Whyte next as things stand, although a dispute about the purse bid for the fight is slowing negotiations down, and Eddie Hearn recently said that it could be May before the fight takes place.
Joshua also looks likely to face Usyk in a rematch in the coming months, although the Olympic gold medalist didn’t explicitly say that he wouldn’t step aside in his short video message.