Anthony Joshua not ‘wasting time’ waiting for Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder

By Sports Desk July 10, 2023

Anthony Joshua insists he is not going to “waste his time” waiting to fight Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder as he prepares for a Dillian Whyte rematch next month.

After discussions over taking on Fury broke down, former world champion Joshua had been linked with a fight against Wilder in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua, though, will now face off against Whyte again, having defeated his rival in a British and Commonwealth title clash in December 2015 to avenge a defeat when they had met as amateurs.

The 33-year-old is continuing to build up his record again, having beaten Jermaine Franklin on points in April after suffering back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, the unified champion who is set to face Britain’s Daniel Dubois in Poland next month.

“I’m definitely up for fighting,” Joshua told a press conference to preview the sold out fight at the O2 Arena.

“There are a lot of names in the division but at the same time look at what this (fight) creates, I’m a fighter but I understand the business as well.

“Wilder and them lot have been doing my head in for years, you’ve seen now the shenanigans in the heavyweight division – even with Fury, saying he was training for Usyk, you can see all the lies going on so I don’t waste my time with time wasters.

“I just want to fight, get on with it. I’m going to be 34 this year, let’s crack on while I’m here, I’m not going to waste my time waiting for people and chasing for people.

“Even from the amateurs you could see the trajectory I was on; ready to get down, ready to put my neck on the line and fight whoever and it is still like that.”

If Joshua comes through his rematch with Whyte, which will be shown live by broadcaster DAZN, he is then expected to go on to meet Wilder in another lucrative heavyweight showdown.

“This is a massive night for my career,” added Joshua.

“Dillian is a credible and solid opponent, I have an underlying respect for every man I get in the ring with. I could fight now, it is in my heart. I just want to fight.”

For Whyte, 35, it is a chance to level up with Joshua in the professional ring after beating the Olympic gold medallist in the amateurs.

He suggested such victories could be all that are left for him as he enters the twilight of his career, having already avenged a shock knockout defeat to Alexander Povetkin in 2020.

“I have had three losses, avenged one, if I get the other two (Joshua and Fury) I don’t care about boxing after that,” he said.

“We have both had three losses but we both have a lot of hunger so I can’t wait to get in there – I am hoping for the best version of him, I don’t worry about what people say. I am coming to fight and have nothing to lose.”

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  • 'I believe I won' - Fury loses historic undisputed championship to Usyk 'I believe I won' - Fury loses historic undisputed championship to Usyk

    Tyson Fury voiced his frustration after suffering the first defeat of his career to Oleksandr Usyk in their undisputed world heavyweight title fight in Saudi Arabia.

    Usyk won by split decision to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis, and the first to unite all four belts.

    The scorecards read 115-112 and 114-113 in favour of Usyk, while a third judge scored 114-113 to Fury.

    After an even start, the momentum shifted in a brilliant ninth round for the Ukrainian as he caught Fury with a left hook, forcing the referee to give him a standing count before the bell saved him from a further onslaught.

    A defiant Fury was not happy with the result, suggesting that Usyk received a sympathy vote from the judges.

    "I believe I won that fight," he said in the ring. "I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority.

    "His country is at war, so people are siding with the country at war. Make no mistake, I won that fight, in my opinion.

    "It was one of the daftest decisions in boxing. We run it back in October. I'm not going to sit here and cry and make excuses."

    Usyk remained undefeated as he took Fury’s WBC belt to add to his WBA, WBO and IBF collection.

    "Thank you so much for my team. It's a big opportunity for my family, for my country," an emotional Usyk said afterwards. "I'm very happy.

    "My people will be very happy. I think it's a big win, not only for me, it's a big win for my country, for soldiers who now defend my country.

    "I think my father now is watching over me and is very happy. Dad, I love you. I can, you told me I can."

  • John Fury appears to headbutt member of Team Usyk ahead of undisputed bout John Fury appears to headbutt member of Team Usyk ahead of undisputed bout

    Tyson Fury's father John Fury was left with a nasty cut on his face after appearing to headbutt a member of Oleksandr Usyk's entourage at a pre-fight media day on Monday.

    WBC belt-holder Fury will face Usyk for the undisputed world heavyweight title in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, with both men defending undefeated professional records.

    With both fighters and their camps present at a hotel in the city for media duties on Monday, the build-up to their bout – the most eagerly anticipated in the heavyweight division in recent years – got off to a chaotic start.

    Fury's father was pictured with blood running down his forehead after becoming involved in an altercation with a man wearing a Team Usyk tracksuit.

    Widely shared footage on social media appeared to show him headbutting the man, who then had to be restrained by other members of Usyk's entourage.

    It was later reported that the Saudi Arabian authorities were aware of the incident but did not plan to take any action.    

  • Joshua expects to fight at Wembley in September with Zhang or Wilder lined up Joshua expects to fight at Wembley in September with Zhang or Wilder lined up

    Anthony Joshua expects to return to Wembley Stadium for his next fight in September, with either Zhilei Zhang or Deontay Wilder lined up as his opponent.

    Joshua stopped Francis Ngannou in the second round in March, his fourth straight win since suffering back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022. 

    His last two fights have been held in Saudi Arabia, but as he inches closer to a shot at regaining the titles he lost to Usyk three years ago, he is eyeing a return to his native London.

    "It'll be some date between September 20 and September 25. Whenever they tell me there's a date, you know I'll be ready 100 per cent," Joshua told TalkSport of his next fight.

    "It's going be in London, Wembley Stadium, this is what I'm being told. If this is what they say, they usually stick to their word."

    Pushed on possible opponents, he said the result of Zhang's upcoming bout with Wilder – who was scheduled to face Joshua in March only for those plans to be derailed by a shock defeat to Joseph Parker – will be decisive.

    "On June 1 in Saudi Arabia, they've got Filip Hrgovic versus Daniel Dubois and Zhilei Zhang versus Deontay Wilder. Out of that pool, that's who I'll be fighting."

    On Wilder, Joshua added: "If he looks good, that'll reignite that flame that he had. Boxing is all about perception, so I pray he does his thing and Zhang does his thing, and I'm ready."

    There has also been plenty of talk about Joshua facing Tyson Fury in an all-British tussle in recent years. The WBC heavyweight champion faces Usyk in a huge unification bout next month, and with a two-way rematch clause present in their deal, they are likely to face off twice before the year is out.

    When those obligations have been met, Joshua will be waiting, saying: "I know the fans want that big fight with Fury, but he's got his obligations with Usyk. 

    "They're working on it but I've just got to stay focused, stay disciplined, steamroller through opponents and get closer and closer to having a fight with Fury. Hopefully that'll be in London as well."

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