Tyson Fury responded to Anthony Joshua calling him out immediately after his victory over Wladimir Klitschko by saying “challenge accepted”.
Joshua established himself as the world’s leading heavyweight by adding the WBA belt to his IBF title with a dramatic 11th-round stoppage of Klitschko in front of an estimated 90,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium.
The defeat was Klitschko’s second in succession, having been beaten on points by Fury in November 2015, and an all-British fight between Joshua and undefeated former world champion Fury – should the latter ever return to boxing – could prove even bigger.
“(Tyson) Fury where you at, baby?” Joshua said while still in the ring.
“I love fighting. Tyson Fury, I know he’s been talking, I want to give 90,000 a chance (to see us), I just want to fight.”
Fury has been inactive since his defeat of Klitschko having most recently struggled with depression, but he has remained a consistent presence on social media.
Following Joshua’s comments in the wake of Saturday’s win, Fury took to Twitter:
@anthonyfjoshua challenge accepted. We will give the world 🌎 the biggest fight in a 500 years. I will play with u. You are a boxers dream.— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) April 29, 2017
Fury last year surrendered the world heavyweight titles he won by beating Klitschko in an effort to focus on his mental health problems.
The 28-year-old has won all 25 of his professional fights so far, 18 by knockout.
Joshua, meanwhile, now boasts a perfect 19-0 record following his win over Klitschko, with all of the 27-year-old’s victories coming inside the distance.
* From Press Association
Britain is set for the biggest boxing bout in its history as Anthony Joshua defends his IBF heavyweight title against Wladimir Klitschko with the vacant WBA strap also on the line.
The clash will be played out in a modern era record of 90,000 fans at the Wembley Stadium as two giants of the division collide.
We’ve got everything you need to know ahead of the fight.
Well, as you probably know by now it’s tonight with broadcasters around the world showcasing the fight.
Obviously it depends on the undercard and the duration of those fights but you can expect the ring walk time to be approximately 01:00am UAE time with the fight commencing after the theatrics are done.
OSN is your home for combat sport these days and they will be showing the fight on OSN Sports Action 2.
There’s a packed undercard with British Olympian Lawrence Okolie in heavyweight action with his third pro fight. Former WBA super-bantamweight champ Scott Quigg is back in action at featherweight while Irish superstar Katie Taylor fights for her first belt.
Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko fight to establish themselves as the world’s leading heavyweight at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.
IBF champion Joshua also hopes to win the WBA title last held by Tyson Fury, while Klitschko attempts to become a world champion for the third time.
Joshua tipped the scales at a career-heaviest, while Klitschko was his lightest since 2009.
Here, Sport360’s writers give their verdicts.
JAMES PIERCY – EDITOR
Either Joshua is going to follow the script and blow Klitschko away, or the veteran is going to give him a maths lesson in boxing the percentages, retreating into his surgeon-like tactics, trying to pick the young upstart off round by round.
But 15 months out is a long time for a fighter of his age and Joshua’s speed and power will be too much, both in a defensive and offensive sense. Klitschko’s boxing brain will keep him in the fight points-wise but he’ll be worn down physically and eventually crumble.
Verdict: Joshua to win by stoppage in Round 10
ALEX REA – ONLINE DEPUTY EDITOR
It’s redemption or retirement for Wladimir Klitschko, plateau or progress for Joshua. The fight takes on huge significance for both fighters but the pressure perhaps leans more on Joshua as the home favourite fighting in front of a projected 90,000 Wembley crowd. But it’s exactly that pressure which will bring out the best in him.
The 27-year-old is younger, hungrier, too fast and too powerful. Providing he can remain patient and pick his shots, the openings will come and it will prove too much for Klitschko.
Verdict: Joshua to win by stoppage in Round 8
ANDY LEWIS – CORRESPONDENT
It’s a huge step up for Joshua but so far he has taken everything in his stride and improved with every fight.
Klitschko may not be a spent force just yet, but Joshua is just so much quicker than him at this point, it’s hard to imagine the younger man not getting to him.
History tells us that youth often prevails when generations collide in heavyweight boxing and, barring Joshua making a mistake and walking onto something, I expect the torch to be passed.
Verdict: Joshua to win by stoppage in Round 7
ALAM KHAN – CORRESPONDENT
Joshua might be reluctant to be his usual aggressive self in fear of leaving himself open to the counter punching of Klitschko, but he has to be fast and fierce at the start.
But if he finds his range early, he should have too much for the 41-year-old former champion.
He cannot allow it to become a cagy tactical battle because Klitschko has too much boxing nous and will use his jab to keep the Brit at bay and pick up points as the fight wears on.
Verdict: Joshua to win by KO or stoppage in Round 6