Anthony Joshua says the time has come for him and fellow British world champion Tyson Fury to finally meet in the ring and establish an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Joshua holds the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts, after winning them all back from the man who stopped him in a shocking upset last year, Andy Ruiz Jr. And following Tyson Fury’s decisive stoppage victory over then-WBC world champ Deontay Wilder, the two Brits now hold a monopoly over the heavyweight boxing world.
But talk of the pair fighting has always hit a stumbling block with both fighters and their management opting to take different routes to world championship glory. Now they have both accomplished their goals, Joshua says the only natural next step for both men is to face off for all the belts and crown an undisputed heavyweight world champion.
Anthony Joshua has said a blockbuster fight for the undisputed world heavyweight title with Tyson Fury is needed to determine a single dominant figure in the division.
“Come fight me. If you really want to say you’re number one, come fight me. Let’s get it on,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“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.
“If you really want to say you are number one, come and fight me” ?@anthonyfjoshua has a message for @Tyson_Fury to prove who is the heavyweight number king! pic.twitter.com/GD73tSzZ9c
“What that will prove, me and him fighting is there will be one dominant figure in the heavyweight division that will have all of the belts and become undisputed.
“So logically it says to prove yourself as number one, I have to fight Tyson Fury. He has to fight Anthony Joshua and it will call for a great announcement after this whole pandemic we’re facing right now.”
Currently, Joshua is set to face the IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, but their June 20 date has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fury, meanwhile, has been the target of rematch talk from Wilder, who is pushing hard for a rematch with “The Gypsy King,” despite being stopped in a one-sided fight when the pair last met inside the ring. July 18 was originally penciled in for their third meeting, but the COVID-19 crisis forced that date to be pushed back, with tentative plans for October being considered.
But, given the lengthy delay to the world’s sporting calendar, Joshua’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, suggested earlier this month that dispensing with the other fights and pressing straight on with the undisputed title fight may make the most sense, once the coast is clear for promoters to stage big arena events again.
Joshua concurred, saying, “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.’
“That fight (with Fury) needs to happen because there will never be another time like this again.”