KEY POINTS

  • Anthony Joshua has opened up about his devastating loss to Oleksandr Usyk
  • If possible, Joshua would like to rematch Usyk and fight Tyson Fury
  • Fury wants Joshua to "step aside" and let him take on the Ukrainian champion

The current heavyweight division is stacked, but Anthony Joshua has his eyes locked on beating the best fighter there is.

Before losing all his belts to Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua was heavily touted to fight his compatriot and rival Tyson Fury. In fact, he had spent almost the entire 2021 preparing for it, but the all-British heavyweight showdown never came to fruition.

Fury ended up facing and knocking out his ultimate nemesis Deontay Wilder, while Joshua was prompted to fight and eventually lost to his WBO mandatory challenger. As expected, Joshua is planning to face off against Usyk once more and regain heavyweight supremacy by finally beating Fury next.

"I was supposed to fight [Fury] last August,” Joshua recently told Sky Sports. “If I don't fight the guy I'm supposed to fight, I want the next best.”

"Usyk came up from cruiserweight — a great fighter, a 12-round fighter,” he continued. “I wanted to box with him for 12 rounds and show, because there was always this stigma saying that I can't box — that I was a big, stiff bodybuilder. So I said: ‘Alright, cool. Let me practice my boxing with Usyk.’ It didn’t go my way. He won nine rounds, I won three. In the next fight, if I win four more rounds then I will win. Let me simplify that matter. Then I'll get onto the road to being the undisputed champion again."

Joshua went on to admit that losing to Usyk “hurt” him as he reckoned that “there were no problems” and that he “just lost to the better man” that night.

Tyson Fury poses with the WBC heavyweight championship
Tyson Fury poses with the WBC heavyweight championship Getty Images | Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc

As things stand, Fury has been ordered by the governing body to get slated for a mandatory defense fight against Dillian Whyte. Hence, the “Gypsy King” has urged Joshua to “step aside” as he wants to unify the heavyweight belts and take on Usyk after the mandatory fight.

For Joshua, there are three things he must take into consideration first before succumbing to Fury’s proposal.

“In terms of step-aside, I don’t know if that goes in line with what I morally stand for,” the former undisputed heavyweight champion told iFL TV in November 2021. “But let me be real with you, I want to be known as one of the smartest businessmen as well. If the money’s right, we have to look at it, but respect for me has a lot more value than just money.”

“It’s about respect first, it’s about what I’m known for when I leave this heavyweight division, and the third thing is the smartest businessman,” he explained. “Would I take the step-aside money? If it’s a smart business move? Will it affect my reputation and my respect? Will I still get to fight the best fighters?--I have to consider these three things in my career. They’re the three things and three principles I truly stand by when it comes to fighting.”

Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine fights Anthony Joshua of Great Britain
Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine fights Anthony Joshua of Great Britain Getty Images | Julian Finney
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