Anthony Joshua would be happy to give up his world titles if it meant he could finally secure a mega-fight with Tyson Fury.
The pair had signed for an undisputed title fight against Fury to take place in Saudi Arabia on August 14, but missed out on the bout due to a legal issue on his opponent’s side.
Fury was ordered by an arbitrator to fight Deontay Wilder in a trilogy bout before any fight with Joshua could be made, and the Watford native will now face Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 in London.
And in a recent interview with Gary Neville’s show The Overlap, Joshua explained that he would be willing to do whatever it takes to get a fight with Fury, saying: “Without the belts? I rate that. That’s what I’m talking about. We’ll fight, 100 per cent, let’s do it.
“I’ll smoke that guy, I will, it’s annoying.”
Joshua also said that he believes Fury should take the risk, adding: “He’s a fighter isn’t he. What’s the worst that can happen? You get hit.
“He’s been doing it for years, however, I just know on my end, and my management team and my promoter – we done everything we can to make this happen and as long as I’m champion, I’ll compete with anyone.
“I’ve got a tough challenger coming up now; a great fighter.”
The two world champions have engaged in a social media back-and-forth since Fury opted not to offer Wilder step aside money to make the Joshua fight take place.
But Joshua isn’t keen on too much more arguing, and says that he would rather fight opponents like Usyk, who are willing to do anything to get in the ring.
“For me, I don’t really get into the Twitter back and forth, because it’s Twitter fingers – anyone can sit behind a computer and talk,” he added.
“Let’s be real, let’s be honest, let’s let the people know, you’re the one that let the fans down, because everyone seems to think [that something else happened].
“I fought on December 12, when they were like, ‘Who do you want to fight next?’ I said I don’t want to call out any names.
“I know because I’m going to start shouting out people’s names and I’m going to be in this position now where the guys’ name I’m shouting out doesn’t want to fight or he’s not ready to fight.”
Joshua vs Usyk will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium with the former undisputed cruiserweight champion one of the toughest mandatories Joshua could have faced.
Meanwhile, Fury will finally take on Wilder in a trilogy fight on October 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas after their initial date for July 24 was rescheduled due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Brit’s camp.
Assuming both men come through those challenges unscathed, they are pencilled in to finally clash in February.