Joshua pledges to fight heavyweight rival Fury after dealing with Usyk

By Sports Desk June 21, 2021

Anthony Joshua remains convinced his heavyweight blockbuster with Tyson Fury will still happen despite the pair's undisputed showdown collapsing earlier this year.

Joshua, the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, was set to take on Fury in August in Saudi Arabia before a court arbitration in the United States ruled the WBC king must face Deontay Wilder for a third time.

Fury v Wilder III will take place in Las Vegas on July 24, with Joshua now set to face former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

As high-quality as those two encounters promise to be, it still amounts to a less-than-ideal situation in terms of the fight boxing's glamour division demands.

Joshua reiterated his belief that the collapse of the bout remains the responsibility of Fury's handlers and pledged to make the bout happen.

"Unfortunately, his team let the whole boxing world down," he told Sky Sports. "I will still be here, still ready to put on a show.

"[The Fury fight can happen at the] end of the year. Let me get past Usyk first. But with or without Usyk in my life, I will fight Fury.

"Usyk isn't the be-all and end-all.

"Usyk doesn't determine the Fury fight. The Fury fight has to happen. It's a big fight, bigger than boxing, bigger than the belts.

"It will happen. After the Usyk fight, after I defend my belts.

"The fight will be bigger, better than what it would have been."

Fury pledged Joshua would be one of several leading heavyweights in line for "the biggest beatdown they have had in their lives" after he faces Wilder, who he believes "would knock Joshua out in the first round".

Joshua added: "I am 100 per cent sure that I will fight him and win. You've got to ask him the same question. I'm not too sure [what he would say].

"We did everything. During a global pandemic, the toughest time to organise a fight like that, we managed to have 20,000 fans available, a site fee, the media ready, my name was on the contract, I was in training.

"Then boom, they cancelled. I stay ready to fight them all because I'm a throwback fighter."

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    Anthony Joshua says he would welcome Tyson Fury's offer to help him train for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk next spring.

    Fury recently told Fox Sports Australia that Joshua would "definitely" beat Usyk with his assistance, going so far as to guarantee a win. 

    Speaking with IFL TV, Joshua invited his longtime rival to come to his camp and even get in the ring with him, as long as he was willing to work for free. 

    "He's more than welcome to come through the door," Joshua said. "He can even spar with me as well. I need a coach that's lived it, breathed it, so it would be perfect. That'd be the easiest way to get him in the ring."

    The two British heavyweights have yet to square off after their agreement on a two-fight deal last summer fell by the wayside after both were obligated to fight different opponents first. 

    While Fury completed his trilogy against Deontay Wilder with a win earlier this month, Joshua was upset by Usyk in September, prompting a rematch against the Ukrainian in 2022. 

    Joshua's banter around Fury's offer had a tongue-in-cheek quality to it, but he did strike a nostalgic note in looking back on the sport's glory days. 

    "I see pictures with Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Archie Moore, Muhammad Ali all sitting together," Joshua said. "They'll be in each other's training camps. ... Mate, come into my training camp. Come and see what the heavyweight champion gets up to. It's great. 

    "Heavyweight boxing is thriving. So for me, Tyson can come and watch me train, 100 per cent. Sparring ain't fighting, is it? Do you know what I mean?

    "So he can definitely come in, he's more than welcome to step into the gym and give me some tips. I ain't fighting him next anyway, so he ain't got nothing to worry about."

  • Stevenson dominates Herring for junior lightweight belt Stevenson dominates Herring for junior lightweight belt

    Shakur Stevenson felt compelled to apologise to his fans after a mediocre fight his last time out, but he had no reason for shame Saturday. 

    Stevenson jumped on Jamel Herring from the opening round and did not let up, winning the WBO junior lightweight title with a 10th-round TKO in Atlanta. 

    The 24-year-old Stevenson (17-0) punished Herring (23-3) all night, leaving his 35-year-old opponent shaken by the middle of the scheduled 12-round bout. 

    The 2016 Olympic silver medallist ensured this one would not go the distance, with referee Mark Nelson stopping the fight at 1:30 of the 10th round shortly after having the ring-side doctor examine the bleeding Herring. 

    It was a dominant all-around performance for Stevenson, and a welcome one on the heels of his unanimous-decision victory over Jeremiah Nakathila in June. 

    The Las Vegas crowd showered both men with boos near the end of that tepid contest, which was marked by a lack of action from either fighter. 

    After taking down Herring, Stevenson referenced the criticism he received from ESPN announcers in June. 

    "I wanted a fun fight and I wanted to perform," he said. "I wanted to show my skill, my boxing skill, my defence and my power. I thought I showed everything tonight."

  • Whyte pulls out of Wallin fight with shoulder injury Whyte pulls out of Wallin fight with shoulder injury

    Dillian Whyte has been forced to cancel his heavyweight clash with Otto Wallin on October 30 due to a shoulder injury, promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed on Wednesday.

    The fight with Sweden's Wallin, set to take place at the O2 Arena in London, was the main event on an impressive card with Whyte set to return to action for the first time since beating Alexander Povetkin in March.

    However, a shoulder injury sustained in training has forced the postponement of the fight and it remains unclear whether the clash will be rescheduled.

    The winner was in line to face the undefeated Tyson Fury for the WBC heavyweight crown in 2022, though Whyte's next bout may still be against the 'Gyspy King' should the meeting with Wallin be called off completely.

    The WBC had ruled that the winner of Fury and Deontay Wilder's trilogy fight would have 30 days to agree on a bout with IBF, WBA and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk, or face the reigning interim champion - the winner of Whyte versus Wallin.

    However, Anthony Joshua has triggered a rematch clause to ensure he fights Usyk again in 2022, opening the door for Whyte or Wallin to step up.

    Should Whyte be required to challenge Wallin in a rearranged clash, defeat will once again throw a spanner in the works for the Briton, despite him currently ranking as the WBC's interim challenger.

    Whyte has encountered similar problems before while waiting for a world title shot, having been knocked out by Povetkin in 2020 before recovering in the rematch between the pair.

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