Anthony Joshua has taken a swipe at heavyweight rival Tyson Fury by claiming he ‘should be looking to retire soon’.
Both boxers are hoping to clash in a highly-anticipated mega-fight next year that would see the winner crowed as undisputed champion, with the fighters holding all five world title belts between them.
And Joshua says he is ‘here and ready’ to share a ring with Fury, claiming it might be time for him to call it a day after turning professional 12 years ago.
“Fury has been professional much longer than me. He should be looking to retire soon,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“If he wants to cement his legacy, I’m here and ready. I’ve built myself into this position.”
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The IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO champion has enjoyed a fairytale rise to the top of boxing having savoured wins over Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin and a rematch win over Andy Ruiz Jr.
And while Joshua is eager to prove his worth by fighting WBC champion Fury and Deontay Wilder, he insists his record proves that he has faced stronger opponents.
“I’ll challenge Fury, I’ll challenge Wilder,” he said. “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.”
Joshua had a whirlwind year in 2019 as he suffered a shock stoppage loss to Ruiz last summer before winning his titles back in the rematch in Saudi Arabia.
He won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London before quickly turning professional the following year – becoming a world champion three years later. Joshua said he was on ‘a different journey to Fury’ but had no fear of facing him.
He added:”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.
“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.”