Anthony Joshua has stated that he would fight Tyson Fury even with no belts on the line and has vowed to “smoke that guy” should they finally meet in the ring.
WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Joshua had appeared set for a unification showdown with fellow Briton Fury, the WBC title-holder, before a United States arbitrator in May ordered the latter to have a third bout against Deontay Wilder.
That contest is due to take place in Las Vegas in October, rearranged from this month after Fury tested positive for coronavirus, while Joshua is now preparing to face Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.
Speaking on Gary Neville’s YouTube channel The Overlap, Joshua said when asked if he thought Fury did not want a fight against him: “He’s a fighter, isn’t he? What’s the worst that can happen? You get hit. He’s been doing it for years.
“However, I just know on my end, my management team and my promoters, we’ve done everything we can to make this happen, and as long as I’m champion I’ll compete with anyone.”
On meeting Fury regardless of if they win or lose their next fights, Joshua said: “Without the belts? I rate that, I rate that, that’s what I’m talking about.
“We’ll fight 100 per cent, let’s do it. I’ll smoke that guy. I will. It’s annoying.”
He added: “It’s not me. It’s the other side that are letting this down. We are keen, we are ready.”
Asked if he respected Fury as a man, Joshua said: “I don’t know, I don’t really look at anyone in my industry like that. That’s people I want to just fight.
“I haven’t got no time for none of them. I’m not friends with no-one, they’re all enemies at the end of the day.”