Boxing

Anthony Joshua: I’ll still beat Tyson Fury without the belts

Anthony Joshua weighed in 19 pounds heavier than Oleksandr Usyk ahead of the defence of his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in London on Saturday.

Anthony Joshua has left the door open to a fight with Tyson Fury, even without his heavyweight world titles, after his shock defeat to Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night.

Joshua lost his WBA, IBF and WBO belts to the Ukrainian, who is now the unified heavyweight champ thanks to a dominant decision victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

He looks set to exercise a rematch clause against Usyk, but Joshua believes a British blockbuster fight against Fury could still happen, with or without the belts.

“The road to undisputed and all that stuff, it’s good,” said a gutted Joshua at the post-fight press conference.

“As I said, I’ll fight Tyson Fury, Wilder, without the belts.

“The belts are fun. It’s great, it’s legacy. But with or without the belts, I’ll fight whoever. The road to undisputed is a nice title to have and a nice title to chase.

“But would you still watch it, without the belts?

“That’s the main thing – is you’ve got two competitive fighters in the ring from UK soil, that just want to go toe-to-toe.”

Talk of a bout with Fury is something that all fight fans want to hear, but it’s a rematch with Usyk that is the priority for Joshua.

The 31-year-old intends to activate a rematch clause for an immediate second fight against his triumphant opponent.

Asked if he wanted another go at the Ukrainian, Joshua said: “100 per cent. 110 per cent.

“I’m ready to get back to training. Because of the 12 rounds, my lungs and everything, it was a good 12-rounder, so I’ll be in a good place when I get back into training to pick up where we left off.”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn also confirmed that his man will want a rematch with Usyk.

“The fighter in AJ is already talking about, ‘I’ll win the rematch, I’ll win the rematch,” said Hearn, speaking to Sky Sports Box Office.

“It was a tough defeat. Usyk was the deserved winner and he’s got to make changes in the rematch.

“He will want to go straight back into that rematch, he will be the underdog in the rematch this time after that tonight, but that’s what he does.

“He chose tonight to take on a pound-for-pound great. It didn’t work out, but he should get credit for that.

“He was beaten by the better man and congratulations to Oleksandr Usyk.”

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