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Anthony Joshua: I’m going to walk through Tyson Fury

Image: Anthony Joshua: I'm going to walk through Tyson Fury

By Matt Lieberman: Anthony Joshua says he’s going to walk through Kubrat Pulev, and then he’ll be looking to do the same thing to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) wants to regain his status as the #1 heavyweight on the planet, and to do that, he must beat Fury or whoever holds the WBC title when it comes time for him to fight for the belt.

Joshua, 29, redeemed himself last December in avenging his only career defeat in beating Andy Ruiz Jr. by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision. However, Fury did one better by stopping former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in the 7th round last February.

With Joshua expected to face his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev and Fury taking on Wilder in a trilogy, the winner of those two fights need to identify who the #1 guy is at heavyweight.

Joshua didn’t want to kick Wilder after he was down

“Oh yeah,” said Joshua to SI Boxing with Chris Mannix, when asked if he was tempted to take some verbal shots at Deontay Wilder after his loss to Fury. “I went into my drawer and pulled out my long list of things to say.

“You don’t knock a man when he’s down. That was at the top of the list, so I have to stand by those principles. Me and Wilder are cut from a different cloth. He’s what we call, it begins with a ‘B’ and ends with an ‘H.’ I’m not like that, I’m more of a man. I don’t get on the Internet talking crap.

The only time you saw me talking recklessly was against Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller. Other than that, I’m an ambassador of the sport; I’m trying to be clean and represent my sponsorships and represent DAZN properly.

“I try to stay away from the typical stereotype of a heavyweight boxer. It’s difficult, but I have it in me to fire up and talk recklessly when needed,” said Joshua.

It wouldn’t have made much of a difference if Joshua had kicked sand in the face of Wilder after his loss to Fury. He was always been dumped on by the entire boxing world, and it wouldn’t have mattered.

Besides, until Joshua beats Wilder as well, he can’t spike the football over something that he didn’t do. Fury did Joshua’s job for him, and it makes him look weak that he didn’t do it himself.

Image: Anthony Joshua: I'm going to walk through Tyson Fury

Joshua: Fury will beat Wilder again

“I never write off any heavyweight because all it takes is one punch, and I think Wilder believes that himself,” said Joshua when asked if Wilder can beat Fury in their third fight. “‘You got to be perfect for 12 rounds. I just got to be perfect for one second.’

“In my opinion, I think Fury will go in there and win again, but it’s so true. You only have to catch him with one shot, and the tables can be turned quickly. Good luck to them both, and we’ll see what happens when this is all done,” said Joshua.

Fury may have a more difficult time trying to beat Wilder in the third contest, as he’ll know what to expect of him. If Fury chooses to come out aggressively and crowd Wilder, he’ll be ready for that. Wilder will have had eight weeks to train for that style.

Moreover, if Fury plans on making it a dirty fight again, Wilder will be ready for that a well. We’ll likely see a lot of punches thrown to the back of the head by both fighters in this clash. That was Fury’s best weapon against Wilder last February, and he’ll be sure to use it on him.

AJ wants to beat Fury to regain #1 status

“The only reason is because of the Ruiz fight, and that’s why I want to redeem them and put the trust back in my stable,” said Joshua in commenting on the likelihood that Fury will be the favorite against him.

“It’s such a shame that I’m in quarantine right now because it’s put a halt to greatness. I’m working towards beating Tyson Fury. Whether the doubters want to be with me or not, I have to beat him.

I’m working towards beating Fury. I’ve gotta look through Pulev; I’m gonna walk through Pulev. He ain’t on my level; I’m walking through him. I want the boys at the top. I’m not worried about the boys around me. I’m looking at Fury like I’m gonna walk through him as well.

“And I’m working through them all, and that’s the mindset we have to have as fighters. So I’m looking at Tyson Fury like I’m going to walk through him as well. I had my issues last year, and I got through it. People don’t know what that does to a fighter when he loses in front of the world and has to come back,” said Joshua.

It’s going to be difficult for Joshua to be recognized as the #1 heavyweight in the world. Just beating Fury might not be enough for Joshua to regain his #1 status. He’s going to need to defeat an in shape Andy Ruiz Jr., and then show that he can beat Wilder.

Joshua won’t turn down Fury fight

“When Tyson Fury is ready, I will not turn down that fight. I’m thinking the wider puncher, and I think like I’m an underdog,” said Joshua. “As you said, I’m not #1 the minute, and I’ve got to put my name back where it belongs. What that’s based on is trust.

“When I get back in the ring, they’re going to lose if they bet against me. I’ve got to put trust back into my name, and I was going to do that by demolishing Pulev. I was working towards greatness long before training camp, but this has slowed things down. I’ll be ready mentally when the time comes.

“Tyson Fury has been a professional for 11 years,” said Joshua. “He needed so much time to develop. He’s finally got to that stage where he’s gotten that straw of confidence. So congratulations. I look at what Tyson Fury has done, and I’m looking, ‘I’ve done what took him ten years in 3 years.

“Imagine where I’m going to be in 10 years.’ So I keep moving through it. I had my little issue with Ruiz last year, but I got through it. In another six years from now, when I’m where Tyson Fury is in terms of time, I should be unstoppable. I’m gaining massive knowledge about the boxing industry,” said Joshua.

No one expects Joshua to turn down the fight with Fury once it’s offered to him. Fury has better wins on his resume than Joshua, and that’s not going to change until AJ starts facing the top guys. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn blew it for him when it came to Wilder by talking about flat fees. That fight should have taken place in 2018, but Hearn was looking to play the A-side card.

Joshua would have boxed Wilder like Fury did

“Yes, of course,” said Joshua when asked if he would have boxed Wilder the way Fury did. “When you look in a warrior’s tool bag. I look in Deontay Wilder’s tool bag. He’s got a right hand. So how do I take that away from him?

“It’s hard for a fighter to throw a powerful right when he’s moving backward. So I have to put him on his back foot and be dominant. How do you take away the right hand when he’s on his front foot? I’m going to be practicing slipping it, having it shoot over your head, and defending it with the lead hand.

So these are tactics I would have done. Once I take that lead hand away, I’ve never seen him hurt with an uppercut, I’ve never seen him hurt with a right hand to the body. So I look at pressure [as the key] to take away his main weapon, and then you’re 75% of the way to victory,” said Joshua.

It’s easy for Joshua to now say that he would have used the same boxing style as Fury if he’d fought Wilder. No one will believe Joshua of his loss to Ruiz Jr. That defeated ruins any credibility that Joshua has, and it doesn’t matter that he beat him in the rematch. Boxing fans still see Joshua as a flawed fighter with a chin and stamina problems.

Not surprising Wilder and Pulev not stepping aside

“No, because I do think the championship means a lot to these boys, and I respect that,” said Joshua when asked if he thinks Wilder and Pulev will step aside. “As much as I would like them to, I highly doubt it because I wouldn’t do it. Unfortunately, it won’t happen.

“But if a miracle comes across, then I don’t need no warm-up. I’m ready and looking forward to it. And I’m so fired up and hungry to claim the number one stake as the number one heavyweight in the world.

“I’m fighting to hold onto my four belts—fighting governing bodies, and fighting Wilder and Fury fans. I’m willing to fight. To tell me to step aside, I would have told him, ‘Hell no. I’ve got to prove myself.’ Respect is such an honorable thing to carry.

“We’ve got two heavyweight champions in Britain,” said Joshua. “Wilder would be good if he stepped aside, and Pulev would be good if he stepped aside. So we can get this fight [Fury vs. Joshua] on. It’s what the world is screaming for,” said Joshua.

By this point in time, Joshua and Hearn should have already stopped talking about Pulev and Wilder stepping aside. There was never any chance of either of those fighters stepping aside, so it’s a waste of time talking about it.

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