Two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has controversially offered to be fellow British boxer, Tyson Fury’s sparring partner if it helps to beat WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder.
Joshua has been left frustrated in his attempts to lure the American Wilder into the ring as he bids to unify the division following his WBA, IBF and WBO triumph over Andy Ruiz Jr on December 7. The 30-year-old is said to be more confident of landing a blockbuster unification showdown with his compatriot than with Wilder. Fury and Wilder face a re-match on February 22 having fought to a draw in their first encounter.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Joshua said: “I think, honestly, he might beat Wilder next time. I think Fury would fight me quicker than Wilder would. If that’s the case, I want him to win. Imagine that fight on British soil.” Joshua added: “If Tyson needs me, I’ll go out and spar with him to get him ready for Wilder.”
And with Lennox Lewis being the last undisputed heavyweight champion, Joshua has been rendered even more desperate for a showdown with Wilder which would see either one re-write the history books. “It still puzzles me as to why it’s so difficult to pin this man down,” Joshua said. “This is the man I need to pin down to get the last ring and conquer this division.”
“You’ve got the two lords of the rings here,” he added. “The last one to unify, undisputed, the division. I’ve got four (including the IBO belt), he’s got one. I just need one more.” Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev is the IBF’s next mandatory challenger for Joshua, while the WBO has ordered the Londoner to fight Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.
And speaking on the chances of a potential third meeting with Ruiz Jr, the Mexican-American who stunned the boxing world by beating Joshua in June, the British boxer said: “One trillion per cent. I always said I’d fight him in Tijuana, with his uncle as the referee. Andy and I will soon see each other in the ring again.”