McKean confident he could retire Joshua and confirms talks

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Australian heavyweight Demsey McKean claimed he could "retire" Anthony Joshua after confirming talks with the "biggest name in boxing".

Joshua has not triumphed in the ring since June 2020 when he defeated Kubrat Pulev, having since lost back-to-back world title fights with Oleksandr Usyk.

Tyson Fury looked set to be the opponent for Joshua before negotiations broke down, with the WBC champion turning his attention to a potential 2023 bout with Usyk.

Southpaw McKean has 14 knockouts on his unblemished 22-0 record and he fancies his chances against Brit Joshua, who is aiming to bounce back from the Usyk setbacks.

"We are one of the frontrunners for a possible opponent for Anthony Joshua," 32-year-old McKean told Sky Sports.

"I could be the man to retire Joshua and I am very confident I can do that. But don't get me wrong, there are still more fights for AJ. If he loses to me, a top-10 heavyweight as well, that shouldn't be the end.

"People probably don't give him the credit he deserves, what he has done for the heavyweight game. He has brought a lot of eyes and money into the heavyweight division.

"He is probably the biggest name in boxing, everyone is after him, including me. It is the name to have on your resume.

"There are still fights to be made and people are still going to pay to watch those fights. But three losses in a row, does he need to keep doing this, he is well set up now?

"He probably still has his doubts, he still doubts himself a lot, I know that. But who wouldn't when they are at the top, in the limelight and cop a lot of criticism.

"There are a lot of factors but I have the skills to do that [retire him] for sure."

McKean and Joshua are no strangers after the pair sparred in the build-up to the latter's first bout with Usyk, which saw him lose his WBA, IBF and WBO belts.

Queenslander McKean delivered a brutal third-round knockout of Patrick Korte in his last outing on October 15 and thinks he deserves a shot at a big-name fighter.

"I feel confident if that fight goes through," he said. "The only doubt I have is that he doesn't want to fight a southpaw.

"It would be a shame. I have been on the brink of some very big fights myself. I have come close to fighting Dillian Whyte as well. I think it is sad that some of the elite boxers in the world pick and choose who they fight. We would not have had this back in the old days.

"The world has gone mad, and all these so-called champion boxers don't want to fight a southpaw. Let's hope he [Joshua mans up] and fights this time.

"I have been sparing with him for years, I have been in his camp twice. He knows it is going to be a hard fight, by the rounds I give these guys.

"He is a smooth operator, there aren't too many who move like him. His size is an advantage and disadvantage for him."