Anthony Joshua rates Tyson Fury a bigger fight than Klitschko showdown

Paul MacInnes
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Anthony Joshua was ‘planning for a massive showdown with Tyson Fury this summer’, but will instead face Wladimir Klitschko.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images</span>
Anthony Joshua was ‘planning for a massive showdown with Tyson Fury this summer’, but will instead face Wladimir Klitschko. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Anthony Joshua believes Tyson Fury would provide him with his biggest fight as the countdown to his Wembley title bout with Wladimir Klitschko enters its final 10 days.

Fury beat Klitschko in 2015 but has since taken time out from the sport after having tested positive for cocaine use. That means the WBA heavyweight title which Fury won from the Ukrainian is on the line when Klitschko and Joshua meet in London next week, and Joshua believes it should have been Fury he was fighting instead.

“I think Tyson Fury is the biggest fight for me,” Joshua said from his training camp in Sheffield. “If it were up to me, that would have been the fight happening this summer. That’s what I thought. I was planning for a massive showdown with Tyson Fury, but he had other plans and I just had to carry on. When he returns, I’m sure I’ll still be here.”

Joshua and Fury sparred this week on Twitter, the Mancunian mocking Joshua’s muscular physique and labelling him “a poor man’s Frank Bruno”. Joshua responded by offering Fury two tickets for the Klitschko fight, adding “don’t bring a plus one, it’s for your fat ass”.

“Twitter is about communication and it’s just communicating,” Joshua said of the spat. “He addresses me and tweets me quite often and I was just in the frame of mind where I thought me and Klitschko don’t have much verbals, so let me respond to Fury.”

As for the Bruno jibe, Joshua said: “It’s quite disrespectful. If he’s an all-time great then why is he worrying about who is behind him? You should focus on your future. I must be so relevant to the people that are in front of me. I just find it so disrespectful. He calls himself the greatest of all time, the GOAT. If I was the GOAT I would never worry about who is behind me. I’m leading the way.”

Joshua faces Klitschko for the WBA, IBO and IBF heavyweight titles at Wembley Stadium on 29 April.

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