Anthony Joshua claims he is ready to fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury when they are ready.
The British heavyweight, holder of three of the four world belts, has been accused by some fight fans of ducking the big match-ups, while rivals Wilder and Fury had a thrilling brawl in Los Angeles at the weekend.
Fury called Joshua a “chicken” and a rematch between him and Wilder looks inevitable in the wake of their controversial draw.
That could mean Joshua being frozen out of the division’s top fights for a little while yet, but the 29-year-old reckons he is ready to go.
After Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel suggested a Wilder-Joshua showdown could happen, Joshua wrote on Twitter: “What took this fool so long? Like we ain’t been interested?!
“Anyway well done Fury! They (Wilder) wanted to get to you because they assumed you was finished!! I’ll give you a fair one when your ready. Either one of you!”
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has gone to Los Angeles this week and says he is hoping to talk about an April date between his fighter and Wilder.
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, however, hopes to open talks over Fury-Wilder II.
Hearn told the Daily Mail: “First we need to find out what is happening with a Wilder-Fury rematch and whether the rematch clause we are hearing about is what it seems.
What took this fool so long? Like we ain’t been interested?!! 🙄Anyway well done Fury! they wanted to get you because they assumed you was finished!! I’ll give you a fair one when your ready! Either one of you! https://t.co/RlytsIrnud— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) December 4, 2018
“If anything, the way that fight went on Saturday works in our favour in terms of getting Wilder. That has always been the fight we want because he has the last belt.
“It might also be the case that Wilder fancies his chances in a punch-out with AJ rather than another go at Fury. As far as AJ is concerned, he will fight anyone. He would love Wilder next and he has always wanted Fury.
“I am going out to LA and we will talk (with Wilder’s representatives) this week. It is a fight we definitely want for April and will work hard to make.”
Frank Warren and the British Boxing Board of Control are to complain about the scorecards for Tyson Fury‘s drawn WBC heavyweight title fight with Deontay Wilder after the challenger was controversially denied victory.
The 30-year-old excelled throughout, impressively recovering from two knockdowns – the second remarkably heavy – but was harshly made the winner with only one of the three ringside judges after scores of 115-111 (in Wilder’s favour), 112-114, and 113-113.
Victory would have represented the completion of one of the finest comebacks in the history of the sport but, even with a rematch inevitable, Fury’s promoter and the BBBC will move to protect their fighter’s interests.
“I’ve spoken to Charlie Giles, president of the British Boxing Board of Control and they, along with us, will be writing to the WBC asking that they look at what’s gone on there and to order the rematch,” Warren said.
“The Mexican judge (Alejandro Rochin) got it wrong. I genuinely feel sorry for Tyson. He’s been robbed and it wasn’t right.”
Even amid the fact that for the first time Fury did not win, the nature of the fight – significantly more entertaining than when he awkwardly defeated Wladimir Klitschko – means Fury’s reputation is at its greatest.
Reflecting on what unfolded at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, the 30-year-old then said: “It was a great performance, if I do say so myself.
“I’m very happy with the fight, but put it this way, if I didn’t get knocked down twice in that fight, on one of the judge’s scorecards I’d have still lost, so he needs banning from boxing forever because he clearly can’t judge.
“Rochin, you need sacking, or to go to Specsavers, mate. Even without the knockdowns he still had me losing the fight.
“I’ve never seen a worse decision in my life. I don’t know what fight those judges were watching; the guy who gave it 115-111, I don’t know what he was watching. It ain’t the first time this has happened.
“That’s as bad a decision as the first Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield fight (in 1999), but who am I to say anything? I’m just a fighter, I’m not the judges. You can’t take anything away from me or Wilder; we done our best. (But) it’s stuff like this that gives boxing a bad name.”
The 33-year-old Wilder effectively retained his title in the dramatic final round with the second of two knockdowns, one so heavy Fury appeared out cold before remarkably returning to his feet.
A rematch appeared inevitable even before it was controversially announced a draw via scores of 115-111, 114-112 and 113-113 and owing to his classy, gutsy performance as he outboxed the champion, Fury would surely be the favourite.
Unusually since Anthony Joshua’s victory over Wladimir Klitschko, the IBF, WBA and WBO champion would be at risk of being overlooked as the division’s leading attraction, and discussing the inevitable rematch, Fury said: “One hundred per cent we’ll do it.
“We are two great champions. Me and this man are the two best heavyweights on the planet.
“We’re on away soil, I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won that fight. I’m being a total professional here. I went to Germany to fight Klitschko and I went to America to fight Deontay Wilder. God bless America. The ‘Gypsy King’ has returned.
“I hope I did you all proud after nearly three years out of the ring. I was never going to be knocked out. I showed good heart to get up. I came here and I fought my heart out.
“I’m what you call a pro athlete that loves to box. I don’t know anyone on the planet that can move like that. That man is a fearsome puncher and I was able to avoid that. The world knows I won the fight.
“I’ve been away from my family for 10 weeks. I’m just going to spend some time with my family. (It’s) well deserved.”
America’s Wilder, who like Fury had previously won each of his professional fights and was the lighter of the two by 42lbs, also argued that he had deserved the decision but he said: “I would love for (a rematch) to be my next fight. Why not?
“Let’s give the fans what they want to see. It was a great fight and let’s do it again. It doesn’t matter to me where we do it.
“With the two knockdowns I definitely won. We poured our hearts out. We’re both warriors, but with those two drops I won the fight. I came out slow. I rushed my punches. I didn’t sit still. I was too hesitant. I started overthrowing the right hand and I just couldn’t adjust.
“I was rushing my punches. That’s something I usually don’t do. I couldn’t let it go. I was forcing my punches too much instead of sitting back being patient and waiting for it. I really wanted to get him out of there, give the fans what they want to see.
“When I rush my punches like that I’m never accurate. The rematch I guarantee I’m going to get him.
“We’re the two best in the world and we proved it. When you get two warriors you get a great fight. I’m ready to do it again.”