Tyson Fury reiterated his desire to take on Anthony Joshua in a blockbuster world heavyweight title fight, saying: “Next year, the fight has to happen.”
Fury, the WBC champion, and Joshua, who defended his WBA, IBF and WBO titles with a ninth-round knockout of Kubrat Pulev last weekend, currently hold all four of the major world belts in the sport.
Speculation about an all-British bout to determine the undisputed champion in boxing’s highest weight category has reached fever pitch, and Fury called out Joshua in an Instagram video moments after his rival’s win over Pulev.
He repeated his aspiration to face Joshua in 2021 as he said: “Next year, the fight has to happen. (Joshua has) come over his final hurdle last week against Pulev. Now we’re both free to make this fight.
“I’m willing to do the fight. It’ll be the first time since Lennox Lewis 20 years ago that there’s been an undisputed champion.
“(Joshua is) a great fighter, Olympic gold medallist, two-time heavyweight champion just like me, he’s won all the best, he’s a great, great athlete. Of course (I have respect for Joshua).”
Fury also addressed his wish to be removed from the six-person shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
The 32-year-old instructed his lawyers to write to the broadcaster demanding his name be taken off a list that includes Lewis Hamilton, Hollie Doyle, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stuart Broad and Jordan Henderson.
“I’ve asked to be taken off a list,” Fury told the Jonathan Ross show, to be broadcast on Saturday night on ITV. “They’ve not listened. I’ve even sent them a legal letter to be taken off. They’re still not listening.
“They’re trying to take away my rights as a person. My name shouldn’t be on there if I don’t want it on there. It’s a free country. They are doing something that I do not wish to participate in.
“The reason is, I don’t want an award from someone to say I’m a sports personality. I know what I am and who I am and I know what I’ve achieved, I know what I’ve come back from.
“I don’t need a glass trophy. I’m the people’s champion. I don’t need this glamorous trophy to say who I am and what I’ve done.”