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Anthony Joshua denies £15 million step-aside deal

Joshua vs. Usyk boxing photo

By Jack Tierman: Anthony Joshua has quickly come out to deny that he agreed to a £15million step-aside deal to enable Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk to fight next for the undisputed heavyweight championship.

Last Sunday, the Telegraph reported that Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) was on the verge of agreeing to a massive £15 million [$20M] step aside deal.

In addition to Joshua getting a huge paycheck, he would be allowed to face the winner of the Fury vs. Usyk fight rather than get in the back of the line behind the mandatory challengers.

It’s unclear who the reporter from the Telegraph spoke to for him to come up with his news of Joshua agreeing to a step aside. According to Joshua, he’s given no interviews to anyone about agreeing to a step aside, and he says it’s “bull s***.”

Anthony Joshua’s statement:

“You know what’s bad about all these interviews I see? I see certain interviews that quote what I said. I think to myself, ‘I haven’t done no interviews.

“Where did this person get this information from?’” said Anthony Joshua on social media in reacting to the reports that he’s agreed to a £15M step aside deal to let Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk fight.

Joshua vs. Usyk boxing photo

“I’m hearing people saying, ‘AJ accepts £15 million to step aside,'” Joshua continued. “I ain’t signed no contract. I ain’t seen no contract.

“So as it stands, stop listening to the bull s*** until it comes from me. I’m the man in control of my destiny. I’m the man that handles my business.

I’m a smart individual, and I make calculated decisions every step of the way,” said Joshua. “Don’t listen to the bull s*** from other sources. If I tell you something, you know it’s true,” said Joshua.

From the way Joshua is talking, he has NO intention of stepping aside to swerve his rematch with Usyk. Bravo to him.

Joshua is an old-school fighter who is a warrior, and he’s not going to take a fistful of cash and then slink away to allow Tyson Fury to handle his business for him.

Some would argue that Joshua’s decision to fight Usyk in the first place indicates that he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

If Joshua were indeed the “smart individual” that he claims to be in his above statement, he could have avoided this whole mess by vacating his WBO title to swerve Usyk last September.

There was zero demand from boxing fans in watching Joshua defend against Usyk last September.

At the time, people wanted to see Joshua face Fury next, but he chose to willfully plunge straight ahead into the Usyk match instead.  That decision by Joshua, which shows that he’s not as smart he thinks, ultimately led to the problems he’s dealing with now.

Did Joshua receive a $20 million step aside offer?

Apparently, Joshua was supposed to be getting £15 million from someone in the Middle East who wanted to see Usyk and Fury battle it out for the four belts.

Whether there is a person or an organization in Saudi Arabia willing to give Joshua $20 million to step aside is unknown. While Joshua denies agreeing to a step aside deal, he isn’t saying whether he was given the offer.

For Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn choosing not to deny the existence of a step aside deal is telling. It would have been easy for Hearn to say that the story is a fabrication, but he chose not to do that.

Nevertheless, it’s going to make Joshua look bad if he does ultimately agree to a step aside deal, as this above denial from him will be viewed as theatrics.




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