Anthony Joshua views Tyson Fury as “just another fighter” as he seeks to solidify his heavyweight legacy.
Joshua regained the IBF, WBA and WBO titles with a lopsided points win over Andy Ruiz Jr last December, instantly avenging his shock knockout loss to the Mexican earlier in the year.
Two months later, Fury spectacularly dethroned Deontay Wilder to claim the WBC title, meaning there is considerable clamour for the two Britons to meet and decide an undisputed king of boxing’s blue riband division.
Joshua understands the demand for what would be a blockbuster event, but refuses to place Fury – who recently said he would “batter” the Londoner – on a pedestal.
“There’s going to be even bigger [fights] because I’m not going anywhere. I’m here to make history,” he told British GQ.
“I’m hungry, I’m fired up. Fury’s just another opponent at the end of the day.
“Yes it’s going to be big for everyone else but I’ve got to keep myself together and I’m looking at Fury like he’s just another fighter.
“But in terms of the spectacle, the trash talking, two juggernauts coming together – I can’t wait.
“I’ve tasted what being at the top of the mountain feels like and I’ve tasted what being knocked off that mountain feels like and I’ve climbed my way back up.
“Whoever steps in front of me now will know I ain’t looking to go back down. When I’m fighting Kubrat Pulev and I get the opportunity to fight with Tyson Fury for the WBC championship of the world, they’re going to see what it feels like for a man to have had it all, lost it and got it back.
“A man who doesn’t want to feel that turbulence again.”
He added: “I can’t really comment on Tyson Fury, to be honest. I’ve got my own opinions and views of that person but all I need to know is when I’m going to beat him and when I’m going to fight him.”
Joshua was due to face IBF mandatory challenger Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
His promoter Eddie Hearn insists that bout, ideally in front of a UK stadium crowd later in the year, remains Joshua’s immediate priority.
“Wouldn’t it be great to come through all this and stage a world heavyweight title fight in the UK this year? For us, that is the absolute focus and if that’s taken out of our hands, we will look at other options around the world,” he told Sky Sports.
Joshua beat Ruiz in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East could come to the fore as an alternative venue for his next outing, while Pulev’s manager Ivaylo Gotsev claims to have secured financial backing to stage the bout at Pula Arena – a Roman amphitheatre in Croatia.
“Croatia is a potential option at this stage and just a part of wider discussions,” Hearn added.
“Given the current uncertainty, I would expect to see him in the ring again end of September at the earliest, but more likely October or November as the restrictions hopefully start to ease.”