By: Sean Crose
Although his hoped for late 2022 fight with Anthony Joshua fell apart before either man signed a contract, WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury still says he wants to face former world titlist Anthony Joshua. In fact, Fury indicated to The High Performance podcast that he needs a battle with his fellow Englishman in order to make his career feel complete. “I don’t think I can retire today,” he said, “because I need that Joshua fight.” Although Joshua no longer holds title belts, a match between the two has been on the horizon so long that it would disappoint fans if it turned out to be a mirage.
“We have been trying to make that fight for years,” said Fury. “It’s the fight that people want to see. It’s the fight that I want to see as a boxing fan.” Along with former world titlist Deontay Wilder, Fury and Joshua stood for a new brand of heavyweight after the Wladimir Klitshcko era. Although they were big and imposing like Klitshcko, they also had fan appeal outside of continental Europe. In other words, unlike Klitschko, this new breed of heavyweight excited people globally. Fury went on to beat hard hitting American Wilder two out of three times. He and Joshua, however, have never met in the ring.
“For the last four or five years,” Fury said, “there has been this three-headed monster: me, Wilder, Joshua.” Time, however, is moving on and Fury wants to settle the matter of who was the best fighter of the three before it’s too late. Even though Oleksandr Usyk won the IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles from Joshua before successfully defending them in a rematch last summer, Fury still feels a Joshua match is in order. “Joshua and Wilder have been slain,” said Fury, “and I’m the last one standing. All of a sudden, you’ve got some new people coming up now – Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois, Usyk’s gate-crashed the party.”
Fury, who is unquestionably the biggest name in the heavyweight division, acknowledged that people are now interested in seeing how he would fare against this new crop of heavyweight contenders. “Now there’s a load of new blood that wasn’t there five years ago,” he said, “and it’s like, ‘can you beat this person?'” Still, Fury feels there’s unfinished business to be taken care of with his popular countryman and peer Joshua. “I think it would be an absolute dying travesty,” he said, “if me and Joshua didn’t fight in this era.”
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