AJ would fight Fury behind closed doors

Anthony Joshua would fight Tyson Fury behind closed doors despite it meaning he would have to take a massive pay cut.

A world heavyweight title unification match between the two Britons would sell out any stadium in the UK, Wembley included. And the gate receipts from such an event would likely be worth several million pounds to each fighter.

But AJ, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, says he would forego those riches for an instant shot at Fury’s WBC and Ring magazine belts.

“If Eddie Hearn said he managed to secure the Tyson Fury fight, but it is behind closed doors, I would take it,” Joshua told DAZN.

Joshua has already said in recent days that he wants to fight Fury now, and he explained his reasoning for that stance.

“If I don’t take it now then I don’t think Tyson Fury will be around by the time this all comes around again, when big hall shows are available. I have to take the opportunity while they’re there.”

While Joshua – who had been lined up to defend his belts against IBF mandatory challenge Kubrat Pulev from Bulgaria – knows fights behind closed doors would mean a smaller purse, he says in the current climate it is better than the alternative.

“Economically I’m taking a big hit like the rest of the world. I would definitely fight for the love of my sport and economically I’ve got that hunger in me, even if I drop five dollars or pounds, I’m turning back to get it. I’m never too big to earn a buck”

“100% I would fight for $8m less. 100% I would take the opportunity to fight at the drop of a hat.”

While Joshua is keen to take any opportunity to get back into the ring, he does fear fighting behind closed doors may have an impact on his mentality and performance.

“When you are fighting in front of 80,000 people, whether you like it or not there is a massive impact on your psyche, on your confidence. That urge to perform. I’m performing for the crowd.

“So yes it would be difficult to fight without the crowd there to entertain. But a win is a win, and it goes down in history and this is just part of history.”

If Joshua and Fury do eventually meet, DAZN would likely be in play to be one of the broadcasters. It recently outlined a global rollout of its streaming platform with boxing at the forefront. It has already showed Joshua fights in the United States and signed Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to a blockbusting $365m deal for 11 fights.