AJ, now 30 years of age, has long held the goal of being the division’s undisputed champion and he is now tantalisingly close as he looks ahead to a potential showdown with ‘The Gypsy King’ in 2021.
The financial structure of a two-fight deal is already agreed with the Fury camp, and AJ is itching for the chance to silence the WBC, Ring magazine and lineal king.
Joshua says he is a man in a hurry and has arrived at the summit of the sport much quicker than Fury – even claiming that ‘The Gypsy King’ should be ready to retire soon!
AJ, who currently holds the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, told Sky Sports: “Fury has been professional much longer than me. He should be looking to retire soon.
“If he wants to cement his legacy, I’m here and ready. I’ve built myself into this position. I came up quick. That shows I’m ready. These boys turned professional in 2008 and it took [Fury seven years] to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world.
“He’s on a completely different journey. I want to steam through.”
While fights against Fury and Wilder would clearly be the biggest out there right now from an interest and financial perspective, AJ claims they would still not be the biggest names on his CV.
He added: “I’ll challenge Fury, I’ll challenge Wilder. These guys aren’t the biggest names that I’ve fought on my record anyway. They are just another heavyweight. Look at my record. They are not the best fighters that I have challenged.
“When they are ready, I’m here to fight.”
While many experts favour Fury if an all-British superfight happens (he is also a 1/2 favourite with the bookmakers while Joshua is a 6/4 chance), Joshua literally doesn’t care about the noise.
“I haven’t got fear of Fury – whether he’s got a better chin than me, a better jab than me, whether he’s all of this stuff that people say. So be it. Let me go in there and prove myself. Show you who I am and what I can do.
“I’ve fought five champions and been in two unification fights. I’m a two-time heavyweight champion in the space of 24 fights and a [seven-year] career. It shows you I am serious.”If Fury is serious, I’ll take that fight seriously too.”
Before a fight with Fury can become reality, Joshua of course has mandatory commitments to take care of. He is due to face 39-year-old Bulgarian and IBF top contender Kubrat Pulev (28-1) at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday December 12. There is the possibility he may also have to face WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk (17-0).
At this stage there is no clear view on whether the Pulev fight will have to take place behind closed doors, or whether there will be a sizeable crowd allowed inside the O2. Government guidelines and regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be fluid and evolving.