Anthony Joshua admitted that he needed bitter foe Tyson Fury to cement his legacy
as a great warrior.
Fury, 33, blew up his planned summer undisputed showdown by overlooking his
contractual obligation for a trilogy match with Dante Wilder, which he now faces on
Joshua says fighting Fury will strengthen his legacy as a great boxer. AJ, 31, was
furious about being led into what was to be the biggest fight in British boxing history
and now has a dangerous – and less flashy – mandatory defense against Oleksandr
Usyk on 25 September.
But the WBA, IBF and WBO kings know that only a clash with the unbeaten WBC
champion will cement their claim to be one of history’s finest legends.
AJ told BBC: “Fight good fighters and they bring out the best in you. We need that for
boxing. “Training camp is tough. It’s very hard to get better at boxing.
Fighting Tyson Fury is a huge challenge.
“I’m really going to put that pressure on myself to get better. But we all need it, I
need it. Come on, let’s see how good I am.
“Let’s see how far I can take myself during this period. It will be a good challenge
mentally. Not about that, but because I really want to do well.
“When I wake up early in the morning and tired, my body is battered, I still go out
and do what I do. It has great rewards and only someone like Fury can give it to me.”
Is.” AJ only started boxing around November 2008 and was Olympic champion until
Watford Ace’s Adonis-like 6ft 6in frame made him a natural boxer, but his relatively
late start in life, at age 18, meant he was always playing catch-up.
And a quick look at his 2013 pro debut confirms for him that the one regret of his
career is not picking up the gloves first.
“When I see my first fight against Emanuel Leo, I was so bad,” he said. “I wish I’d
started earlier – I’d be a lot better.