Heavyweight champion of the world Anthony Joshua has revealed he is sick of being nice and will no longer to pretend to respect rival Tyson Fury.
In a fascinating interview with the BBC, Joshua has let his guard down and also stated that he really doesn’t respect many of his rivals in the heavyweight division today.
Fury has been vocal in his dislike of Joshua, coining the current WBA, IBF & IBO heavyweight champion of the world a “fake” and nothing but a “weight-lifter” and “bodybuilder”, disregarding AJ as a serious threat were the pair to meet in the ring while also dismissing what the Watford native has achieved in his absence from the sport.
Fury last boxed in November 2015 when he caused a massive upset by dethroning Wladimir Klitschko to claim the WBA, IBF and WBO titles. Since then, personal issues have seen him take a break from fighting but he is now on the comeback trail with a return to action touted for 2018.
In the meantime, Joshua has set the heavyweight division alight, climbing all the way to the top, culminating in a stunning TKO victory over Klitschko in April at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 fans. AJ’s latest outing was a successful title defence against a dogged Carlos Takam in October to extend his record to a perfect 20-0, 20 KO.
Now, AJ has dropped his well renowned ‘nice guy’ act and hit back at Fury in retaliation to the constant popping from the ‘Gypsy King’.
“What we are achieving as heavyweight champions is phenomenal.
“But for someone in my own industry to discredit it, I can’t respect that person,” Joshua said.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist wasn’t done there:
“I don’t respect him (Fury),” he continued.
“I don’t have much respect for many boxers in the heavyweight division. It’s not an act with me. I’m being honest. I used to. I used to say very nice things.
“If I speak well of Tyson Fury and say ‘what he’s achieved is so hard and I respect him’ it builds the credibility of the heavyweight championship belt up.
“But when Tyson Fury says ‘Anthony Joshua is a bum’ and ‘look at him, he’s struggling against this opponent’ it discredits everything I’ve achieved.”
As ever, Joshua is focused on improving himself as a fighter by continuing to work hard in the gym. While he fired shots at “big mouth” Deontay Wilder and announced that a deal to fight WBO champ Joseph Parker in March is “95%” complete, he has this to say when asked when he will finally square off against the outspoken Fury.
“With all due respect to Tyson Fury, it would be wise if his handlers got him a few fights. Get the body ticking over again and get that love for the sport back. Get a few wins under the belt and then we can get it cracking.”
2018 is shaping up to be the best year for a long, long time for heavyweight boxing.