Anthony Joshua believes that Tyson Fury had no right to call himself the number one heavyweight in the world until he fights his British rival.
Joshua, the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO champion, reclaimed his belts in December following a shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019. Fury, meanwhile, avenged his controversial 2018 majority draw with Deontay Wilder by stopping the American in impressive fashion to claim the WBC title in February.
With the two English heavyweights now seemingly on a collision course to face one another to be crowned the undisputed world heavyweight champion, Joshua feels the pair need to face-off before Fury can rightfully claim to be the number one heavyweight in boxing.
“If you really want to say you’re No.1, come fight me,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“Let’s get it on. I’ve got the rest of the belts so it only makes sense.
“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 No.1, I have to fight Tyson Fury. He has to fight Anthony Joshua.”
However, a fight between the pair at present looks a long way off due to the ongoing pandemic.
Joshua was due to face mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev in June, while Fury’s trilogy fight with Wilder has been pushed back until October.
However, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn feels the ongoing health crisis may work in both boxer’s favour claiming that Joshua’s fight with Pulev may be put on the back burner as both he and Fury fight under the Top Rank banner.
“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’.
“‘Enjoy your Alabama chicken while we get cracking in the UK!’
“That fight needs to happen because there will never be another time like this again.”
Joshua added that the ongoing crisis, which has seen a global shutdown of all sporting activity, has given him the chance to refocus on the next chapter in his career.
“Without a shadow of a doubt. Life was moving at such a fast pace before, I couldn’t have time to look back and assess the footsteps I had taken.
“Now I’ve taken time to really look at myself, moving forwards into the next chapter of my career.
“From a mental and physical standpoint that should put me in good stead because I’m well-rested. My mind is settled, my body is settled. When the fire gets going again, it will be a roaring blaze.”