Anthony Joshua responds to fresh Tyson Fury fight rumours after Oleksandr Usyk development
Anthony Joshua is primed to return to the ring on April 1 but has insisted he will have no regrets about his career if an all-British bout with Tyson Fury cannot be made further down the line.
Joshua – with 24 wins, three defeats and 22 knockouts – will take on American heavyweight Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14KOs) at O2 Arena next month eager to get back on track following back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
Usyk had been expected to fight Fury in a unification clash at the end of April, but it looks to have fallen through and left both of the world heavyweight champions in need of new opponents.
Talk could now turn back to the previously eagerly-anticipated domestic affair between Fury and Joshua, which has twice failed to go ahead but the 33-year-old 2012 Olympic champion is in no mood to put his own career on hold for it.
“I can’t say I will sit and wait around for this geezer,” Joshua said on Tuesday night. “There are other fighters out there and other great fights I will have.
“With or without Fury (on my record), I will not wake up tomorrow and be regretting my whole boxing career.
“If he is on it, I’m on it. If he is not, he is not. Whatever.”
Back in September it was Joshua’s team who were involved in protracted talks with the Fury camp over a potential Battle of Britain meeting.
A month later and following a string of deadlines and social-media jibes, discussions collapsed and Fury instead went on to fight Derek Chisora for a third time.
It left Joshua, who endured a similar scenario in 2021 ahead of a then-unification bout with his fellow Briton, in need of finding another opponent and Franklin has answered the call.
Joshua added: “I’ll be real with you. That Fury situation, as much as I love to entertain that gossip, I have been there twice.
“People don’t remember that. I was suppose to fight him before I fought Usyk the first time and he pulled out due to his legal battle with (Deontay) Wilder, the arbitration.
“That was all up in the air, all done online. Then we had the one for this December. Yeah, look that fight, will it get made? I don’t know.
“Look at the s*** that they are going through now with this Usyk stuff. It is just crazy.
“Well, it is actually good that people are starting to see – for someone that don’t publicise everything – what actually goes on in negotiations.
“It is good that people can actually see the s*** that people have got to put up with just to make a fight.
“Me and Usyk had two successful fights done you know, so it is just crazy.”