By: Sean Crose
“It will happen,” former heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua recently told DAZN of a fight between himself and WBC and lineal heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury. “Come on now. Same generation.” Talking to Ade Oladipo, the towering Englishman was candid while coming across as keenly self aware. Although the interview suggested Joshua’s team was uncomfortable with signing on to a much hoped for bout with fellow Brit Fury, Joshua didn’t have much bad to say about the individual known as the Gypsy King. “He’s a fighting man and he wants to fight,” said Joshua. “Regardless of whose watching, he just wants to fight, and so do I.”
Joshua’s last foray in the ring didn’t end well for him, as he was defeated in a high profile rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, the man who had lifted his belts from him roughly a year earlier. Joshua acted strangely immediately after the August rematch loss, as was evident from his long winded inside the ring statements after the judges had ruled in favor of Usyk. To his credit, however, Joshua made it clear to Oladipo that he was not in a good place at the time. “You saw after that last fight,” he said. “I swear to you, it tore me apart.”
Sure enough, Joshua had a keen determination to prove himself the better man in the rematch with Usyk, much as he had when he faced Andy Ruiz a second time several years earlier. Joshua beat Ruiz the second time around, avenging his previous stoppage loss to the Mexican-American. Yet history wouldn’t repeat itself when it came to the Usyk rematch. “I had so much riding on it,” he said of his second bout with Usyk, “for me, the British fans, the undisputed fight, it just really tore me apart.”
Although, being a fighter, Joshua felt his body to return to the ring sooner rather than later after the loss last summer, those close to him felt otherwise. “My close ones are telling me ‘you should rest mentally,'” Joshua said. “Physically, I’m down to fight. I’m a warrior. I like this game. I like competing.” Joshua made it clear the fight game truly does take a toll. “It’s tough,” he said. “Trying to do this thing and do it properly as we’ve seen in recent weeks, it’s not easy.”
Not that Joshua feels finished. “I’ve still got targets and goals to achieve and reach,” he stated. “I like fighting good opponents…I always felt it was important to me to fight the best in my era.” Far more low key than Fury, Joshua feels a fighter doesn’t have to be a showman in order to succeed. “It’s not how popular that makes you a good fighter,” he said, “it’s how good a fighter you are.”
“I just like taking risks,” he claimed.
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