Joshua (23-1) is expected to face Fury next summer, potentially with all the world heavyweight titles on the line. But first he must overcome Kubrat Pulev at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday December 12 (live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN).
AJ has not fought so far in 2020, and has had plenty of time to reflect on the past. He says he’s now ready to go again for the biggest 12 months of his career so far.
Joshua over Ruiz ‘slip-up’
Remembering that shock defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019, he told Sky Sports News: “I had my little slip-up last year. We’ve brushed it off and we’ve got the belts back (UD over Ruiz Jr in their Saudi Arabia rematch) and now I’m going to go out there and get back on the gravy train and fight the likes of Fury 100 per cent.”
While Fury is the ultimate prize for Joshua, he refuses to take the 39-year-old Pulev (28-1) lightly. He appears unlikely to make those Ruiz mistakes again any time soon. AJ is a hot favourite with the UK bookmakers at 1/10, with Pulev 6/1.
“But without getting past Kubrat Pulev, who is a serious competitor and challenger, there aren’t no talks of Tyson Fury and stuff like that,” he explained.
“It’s a tough game I’m in, because as I said it’s the pot of gold at the end of rainbow, but before that I’ve got to navigate my way through and Pulev is a big old heavyweight standing in the way of that pot of gold.
“I’m still very hungry and disciplined, so I want to steamroll through him. That’s the fighter’s talk coming out. With that being said, it takes a lot of training in the gym and that is what training camp is about.”
“The situation with him and Wilder, now he’s up in the air, what he’s doing,” he reasoned.
Avoiding the circus
“It’s just a bit of a circus going on. When it’s solidified, you’ll hear it from me. Until then, I’m not really into the whole circus act and trying to promote my name off his back and him doing the same.
“I’m keen to fight him for sure, he’s a competitor in my division. A good one as well. It will give me a chance to showcase what I’m about as well.”
Fury is expected to fight at the Royal Albert Hall on December 5. Possible opponents include Oscar Rivas, Agit Kabayel, Efe Ajagba, Michael Hunter and Charles Martin.
Fury and Joshua announced on June 10 that they had agreed the financial structure for a two-fight deal. Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum said this week if both men win their December fights, the superfight we all want should be straightforward to finalise.