Tyson Fury claims Anthony Joshua will present him with his “easiest fight” after saying Eddie Hearn had already booked Wembley Stadium for such a bout.
The 28-year-old is targeting a comeback fight on July 8, providing he overturns a suspended drugs ban at a UK Anti-Doping [UKAD] hearing which opened on Monday.
It will be a tough act to follow after such a thrilling fight with Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday, but what next for Anthony Joshua? Nick Parkinson assesses each of the candidates.
Tyson Fury will target a comeback fight on July 8, provided he overturns a drug suspension at a UK Anti-Doping hearing on Monday.
Anthony Joshua’s thrilling 11th-round win over Wladimir Klitschko has boosted the profile of boxing in the UK and two British world champions hope to benefit from it this month.
Fury has not fought since beating Wladimir Klitschko for the world heavyweight titles in November 2015, due to a combination of drug issues and mental health concerns.
But in the wake of Joshua’s stunning 11th-round knockout win over Klitschko at Wembley last month, Fury has returned to training and is intent on securing an all-British super-fight with the new champion. He revealed that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has pencilled in a fight in April 2018.
Fury told the Daily Telegraph: “Eddie Hearn has already booked Wembley Stadium for next April.
“There isn’t another stadium where it should take place. I would fight Joshua in October, but I believe Klitschko will take the rematch.”
Fury added to the BBC that he would “box rings” around Joshua.
“I always said Wladimir would be my easiest fight, now I’m changing the goal posts,” he said. “AJ will be my easiest fight.
“I always knew what he was. I’ll tell you what he is. He’s a big man with a puncher’s chance. That’s it. He’s got no footwork, no speed and no stamina neither. I will box rings round him.”
Fury is now keen to focus on the future, but was deeply affected by suggestions he is a drug cheat and denies ever taking any performance-enhancing substance.
He vacated the WBA and WBO titles he held in October after admitting using cocaine to cope with depression, after which the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) suspended his boxing licence.
That development came after an ankle injury had forced the postponement of his proposed rematch with Klitschko, and after Fury and his younger cousin Hughie were charged by UKAD with “presence of a prohibited substance”.
It is understood the Fury camp are confident about the outcome for both Tyson and Hughie.
The heavyweight division now boasts four unbeaten champions with Fury, Joshua, New Zealand’s Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder.
Fury added to the Telegraph: “I’ve never taken a drug in my life. These people can say what they like, but I’m suing them for what they have done to me. They thought they had a villain and that they were going to take me down. This went on from before the Klitschko fight. If I tested positive then why didn’t they ban me then?
“To be honest I didn’t want to live. If I had cheated, fine. But I have not cheated. I beat Klitschko on ability. I don’t need a drug. I’m a giant already. For them to say that about me, it sent me under. I did not want to live any more. But I feel differently now.
“I’m not annoyed that AJ has been lifted up there by some people as the number one. They were saying before that he could beat me. It is what it is. I am the outlaw of this boxing game — and I love it.
“I’ve been written off so many times. How many times was Muhammad Ali written off in his career? But come Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, he beat them all. And when the time comes, I’ll go through them, and all their unbeaten records will fall.”