INTERVIEW: Anthony Joshua on fighting Deontay Wilder and biting back at Tyson Fury

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Relaxed and reflective: Joshua spoke to Sport360° at the Terrace, Burj Al Arab.

Anthony Joshua is ready to knock-out both Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury next year, describing 2018 as potentially the “grand finale” of his boxing career.

The IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight champion of the world pulled no punches in confirming both fighters are on his radar over the next 12 months, with the 28-year-old being more than happy to settle the trash talk, where he knows best, in the ring.

He said: “It’s interesting, yeah, there’s a lot of talk about 2018 in my career. It’s seems like this is the grand finale.”

Confidence is sky high for Joshua after what has been a stellar 2017, best remembered for his famous 11th round dethroning of Wladimir Klitschko at a sell-out Wembley in April, before he defended his IBF and WBA heavyweight titles last month, courtesy of a 10th round stoppage win over gutsy French man Carlos Takam.

That victory brought Joshua’s record to 20-0 and the Londoner’s stock couldn’t be higher, whether he’s laced up for battle in the ring or on duty with his growing commercial sponsors and partners, which include Under Armour, Beats, Sky Sports and energy drink Lucozade.

While Joshua’s rise to world superstardom has gathered pace, it’s his close knit entourage who give him a reality check when needed, while promoter Eddie Hearn, typically, works night and day behind the scenes to bring various pieces of the boxing puzzle together.

From a British perspective, the fight everyone wants to see in the next 12 months is Joshua going up against the currently-retired Fury, a man who has not fought in two years due to his drugs ban and has ballooned to 25 stone in weight.

Although there’s a long way to go before initial terms could even be laid out, it’s not stopped Fury from believing he can take down ‘fraud’ Joshua.

Last week Fury recently penned an open letter on Twitter, deriding AJ, saying that he would “deal with Anthony Joshua in the same fashion” he dismissed Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

That came days after Joshua called Fury “fat”, after the ‘Gypsy King’ had branded him “useless”.

Joshua is normally not tempted to enter a war of words on social media – but even he felt like he had to deal with that onslaught.

Speaking to Sport360° at the iconic Burj Al Arab ahead of his participation in the Dubai Fitness Challenge, Joshua said: “I feel like he says a lot of negative things about me, time and time again.

“I try to be professional but remember this is a fighting sport and you have to meet fire with fire now and again.

“Sometimes if a dog barks at you so many times, the other dog needs to bite back and make sure the other dog puts his tail between his legs. And that’s what you have to do with Tyson Fury sometimes. And that’s all it was, I just had to bite back.

“I’m not one of these dogs that stay in the garden barking for hours, I make my noise – and that’s it – until we fight I don’t need to be hollering and yelling for days and for months. That’s not what I like to do. I address the situation and I put it into the back of my mind. I address what’s relevant.”

Meanwhile, Wilder, the American boasting a 39-0 record (38KOs) goaded AJ on Instagram – asking him to “fight or shut up”. Joshua will be all too happy to end the 32-year-old’s unbeaten record.

“Deontay Wilder is a potential name in the mix. 100 per cent. It’s something that we’re taking time to do and actually doing right now.

“I had a fight the week before him and then he fought [a brutal first-round knockout of Bermane Stiverne] and he mentioned I’m running scared.

“I had spent the last three-and-a-half months training for this last guy, so there was no talk of me ever fighting you up until he had a fight.

“I didn’t understand where he was coming from when he said he was running scared.

“I just thought he must want to fight so he must have made an offer, which he hadn’t, so we’re just taking it upon ourselves to see the landscape and the opportunities of making this fight a reality.

“He is definitely a possible opponent for 2018.”

Joseph Parker is another name in the mix but Joshua doesn’t seem overly concerned with the New Zealander who holds the WBO belt.

For him, the warm climates of the UAE and the company of a handful of friends is the perfect place to reflect on the season and look forward to the next 12 months.

And everything’s in his favour right now, with Matchroom boss Barry Hearn predicting he’ll become a billionaire before too long.

He adds: “I want to have a good fighting career and I want to enjoy what I’m doing. It is nice to know that I can give a lot more. I’m not a stage where my body’s packing up on me. I’ve still got a lot more energy. So it is nice, I’m willing to give a lot more of myself.”

Joshua has a temperament to deal with the multimillion deals, the endorsements but without his close-knit entourage behind him, he knows it would be difficult to keep on track with everyone wanting a piece of him.

“That’s why I’m like, 2018, even though there’s a lot of talk – in reality, isn’t going to be like Joseph Parker, Wilder and Tyson Fury all in one year.

“Anthony Joshua has to face all of them but what’s Wilder’s plans after he fights Anthony Joshua?

“Everyone’s following my career but everyone else is managing their own career how is best for them.”

Most popular


What's Up UAE - DP World Tour Championship, Abu Dhabi Striders Half Marathon and more

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

There is no shortage of top sporting events in the Emirates and here’s our one-stop diary of everything that’s going on — welcome to our weekly feature, What’s Up UAE.

Are you attending or participating in one of the following events?

Share your experiences with us, using the hash-tag #whatsupuae on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.


Monday, November 13

The Al Wathba Cycle Race Series welcomes novice and veteran cyclists alike for a thrilling ride in the UAE capital.

For the race, each individual is put into a group as riders start in bunches 20 seconds apart and aim to close the gap between those in front of them.

With only two races remaining in the four race series, the participant with the best accumulated tally of points will earn a prize after the fourth race.

VENUE: Al Wathba
TIME: From 6.30PM
MORE INFO: Al Wathba Monday Night Cycle


Thursday, November 16 – Sunday, November 19

Watch some of the world’s top golfers compete in the DP World Tour Championships at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Celebrating its ninth year, the DP World Tour Championship once again welcomes the European Tour’s top 60 golfers to the Earth Course.

This year’s event promises a dramatic finale as current Race to Dubai leaders Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia vie for top spot on the European Tour’s order of merit.

Aside from the stars inside the ropes, the Dubai venue offers many attractions outside, including the new state-of-the-art European Tour Performance Institute.

VENUE: Jumeirah Golf Estates
MORE INFO: DP World Tour Championship


Friday, November 17 – Saturday, November 18

The Dubai Fitness Challenge continues with a fun-packed free weekend carnival of events at Dubai Festival City.

Two action-packed days of activities, classes, and competitions are scheduled, finishing with the much awaited prize ceremony and a massive fireworks display.

On the ground there will be two sections – one dedicated to sports and another for training and fitness – there are plenty of chances to try out something new, from table tennis and dragon boat racing to functional training workouts.

One of the star attractions of the weekend will be the presence of IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua who will be at the venue on Saturday at 6.40pm.

VENUE: Dubai Festival City
TIMES: 1-9PM on Friday and 1-7PM on Saturday


Friday, November 17 – Saturday, November 18

The Arabian Gulf League returns after the international break with a mouth-watering fixture list for Gameweek 8.

Defending champions Al Jazira travel to Al Ain as Henk ten Cate’s side look to continue their strong run of form since crashing to a 4-2 defeat against Al Nasr at the end of September.

In the other matches, table toppers Al Wasl entertain Al Dhafra while Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club take on Dibba Al Fujairah.

MORE INFO: Arabian Gulf League


Friday, November 17

The Striders Half Marathon and 10km features a fast, mostly flat course starting at Yas Waterworld and going through the greater surroundings of Yas Island.

The runners will pass Yas Plaza, Yas Marina, Ferrari World and Yas Mall, before making their way back to the finishing line at Yas Waterworld.

The 10km will start 15 minutes after the half marathon at 6.45am – with runners heading to the Marina area before turning back to Yas Waterworld.

VENUE: Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi
TIME: 6.30am
MORE INFO: Abu Dhabi Striders Half Marathon


Friday, November 17

The popular Dubai Women’s Run returns for its seventh straight year in Dubai with more than 10,000 women expected to participate this year.

Organised by the UAE Athletics Federation under the patronage of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the UAE National Olympic Committee, the race will feature a 5km and 10km race for those who take part.

The 2017 instalment will include Kenyan long-distance track and road runner, Tegla Loroupe, who will be one of the elite athletes competing in this year’s run.

VENUE: Marasi Business Bay
TIME: 7am
MORE INFO: Dubai Women’s Run

WALK 2017

Friday, November 17

Over 15,000 people will walk 5km around the iconic Yas Marina Circuit on Friday to celebrate World Diabetes Day.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Walk 2017 is a family-friendly event which aims to promote a healthier UAE.

Adult entries cost just AED 10 and include a participation pack.

VENUE: Yas Marina Circuit
MORE INFO: Walk 2017

Most popular

Related Sections


The best pictures as UAE runners enjoy fun-filled Color Run at Dubai Autodrome

Sport360 staff 11/11/2017
Did you run on Saturday?

On Saturday, The Color Run presented by Daman’s Activelife returned to Dubai with another record-breaking turnout.

Celebrating its 5th year in the UAE, runners donned their most colorful outfits and ran, danced and skipped their way through the Happiest 5k on the Planet.

This year, Color Runners were invited to ‘Dream in Color’ and experience the all new Foam Zone, which proved to be a huge hit.

Elsewhere on the course, Color Runners were covered from head to toe in an array of brand new colors in more Color Zones than ever before along the 5k route.

An incredible day out for the entire family, friends and colleagues, Color Runners showed their aspirations on the brand new Dream Wall as well. The event culminated with the ultimate color party at the Finish Festival and the famous color throws!

Greg Sproule, Managing Director of IMG Middle East said: “We are thrilled with another huge turnout for the Color Run presented by Daman’s ActiveLife this year, marking our 5th year in the UAE. The new Foam Zone and Dream Wall were a great addition to the experience and together with all the Color Zones, we created a truly magical 5k run.”

Dr. Michael Bitzer, Chief Executive Officer at National Health Insurance – Daman, presenting partner of the event said: “We were delighted to see such a wonderful turn out for this years Color Run presented by Daman’s ActiveLife. We aim create healthy communities through our ongoing ActiveLife initiatives that enables people to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Today’s event is a perfect platform that encourages friends and families to get together and exercise in a fun-filled environment.”

Since its inception in 2012, The Color Run has become a global phenomenon and is now the largest running series in the world. Continuing to innovate the Happiest 5k on the Planet genre each year, The Color Run has been experienced by over six million people worldwide in 35+ countries and has donated a staggering $5 million dollars to charity to date.

In keeping with the event’s community focus, $1 from every entry at The Color Run presented by Daman’s Activelife was donated to Friends of Cancer Patients through the Just Giving platform.

Thank you Color Runners! We asked you to #DreamInColor and you certainly did! You ran, walked and skipped your way round our most colourful (and foamiest!) 5k ever! It’s time to check out some of our favourite photos from today! Remember to post yours using #Happiest5k as we love to see your colourful photos too! Thank you to all of our awesome sponsors and amazing volunteers who made this Color Run presented by Activelife by Daman the biggest ever! نشكر كل من شاركنا في سباق الألوان اليوم، لقد حققتم طلبنا منكم وقمتم بمشاركتنا الحلم بالألوان! لقد ركضتم، مشيتم وحجلتم أكثر 5 كيلومترات ملونة ومليئة بالرغوة بالعالم اليوم! قوموا بمشاهدة صوركم المفضلة من سباق الألوان هذا اليوم هنا! تذكروا أن تستخدموا الهاشتاج الخاص بنا، فسيسعدنا أن نرى صوركم المبهجة!

A post shared by The Color Run UAE (@thecolorrunuae) on

Most popular

Related Sections