Joshua makes sparring offer to Fury ahead of Wilder rematch

By Dom Farrell 17 December 2019 5
Joshua makes sparring offer to Fury ahead of Wilder rematch

Anthony Joshua wants to help Tyson Fury beat Deontay Wilder next year – offering himself as a sparring partner to his fellow Briton.

Joshua regained the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles earlier this month as he avenged his shock stoppage loss to Andy Ruiz Jr with a lopsided points decision in Saudi Arabia.

It means Wilder's WBC strap is once again the only major belt outside of the 2012 Olympic champion's possession, but Joshua told Sky Sports the American's failure to agree to a showdown "puzzles" him.

As such, he made the unlikely proposal of assisting Fury in his preparations under new coach Javan 'Sugar' Hill.

"Honestly, I think he might beat Deontay Wilder next time they're out. That's just my opinion," Joshua said.

"I think Tyson Fury would fight me quicker than Wilder does so, if that's the case, I want Fury to win because I just want to fight [for the unified title].

"To have that fight here on British soil is… man, can you imagine that?

"Fury, if you need me for sparring. We're going to fight one day. I sparred Tyson Fury when we were kids anyway.

"I'd go out to America and spar Tyson Fury to get him ready for this Wilder fight. I would like that fight because I think Fury would fight me faster than Wilder would."  

Joshua recounted how, from bringing an end to Charles Martin's brief IBF reign in 2016, he has been able to collect major belts by unseating champions. Only Wilder remains.

"It still puzzles me as to why it's so difficult to pin this man down," he said.

"As I said, I fought Charles Martin to become [IBF] champion, Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA championship, Joseph Parker for the WBO championship, Andy Ruiz to become unified heavyweight champion.

"This is the man that I need to get the last ring so I can conquer this division as I've set out to do from day one.

"When he's ready, as I am, I would love to be facing off with Deontay Wilder talking about the keys to victory.

"It's not even about me now; it's gone past that. This is about the sport and our legacy. If he want to become a future hall of famer, he should come and see us."

Respective IBF and WBO mandatories Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk are likely to be first on Joshua's 2020 agenda, although he conceded a meeting with knockout artist Wilder would carry more lustre than any other bout in the heavyweight ranks.

"Every one [opponent] is serious, but this one, in terms of marketing and entertainment, yeah," he added of facing Wilder.

"Because you've got the two lords of the ring here. This is the last one. To unify, to undispute (sic) the division as one."

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Dom Farrell