Tyson Fury says Anthony Joshua is ‘tailor-made’ for an early knockout defeat and is ‘optimistic’ that a fight can be agreed.
Joshua defended his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles with a brutal ninth-round stoppage of Kubrat Pulev at The SSE Arena in Wembley on Saturday.
But WBC champion Fury was far from intimidated by his British rival’s performance.
“I’m not just saying it because he’s going to be a rival of mine, he’s going to be one of my opponents,” Fury told Good Morning Britain.
“I’ve always said for a long time that I do believe that Anthony Joshua is tailor-made for someone like my style. I think it’s going to be one of the most explosive, quickest fights you are going to see. I’m aiming to take him out inside four rounds.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn insisted that he would resume negotiations ‘straight away’ and Fury is hopeful that terms can soon be agreed.
“We’ll see what’s going to go on,” said Fury. “Let’s hope this fight happens. I’m willing to take the fight. I don’t know whether they are. I’ve been willing to take the fight for the last five years.
“It’s not happened so far, but I’m very optimistic it will happen in 2021.”
Joshua’s next opponent could be Oleksandr Usyk, not Fury, because the Ukrainian is already trying to enforce his right to a mandatory fight.
WBO president Paco Valcarcel boosted his mandatory challenger Usyk’s hopes on Saturday night, moments after Joshua defeated Pulev, by tweeting: “Eddie Hearn knows the meaning of commitment.
“The ball is in Hearn’s court.”
Usyk’s co-promoter Alexander Krassyuk, who works alongside Hearn, exclusively told Sky Sports: “My prediction, my plan and our strategy is to make AJ vs Usyk in April or May 2021.
“This is the WBO who has the power to enforce the champion for the mandatory.
“Though everyone wants to see AJ fighting Fury I don’t feel this fight is likely to happen soon.”
On Joshua’s knockout of Pulev, Krassyuk added: “I did not discuss AJ’s performance with Usyk yet but must admit AJ looked quite convincing.”
The WBO’s stance would seemingly leave Joshua with two choices – defend his title against Usyk next or vacate it to move straight into a fight with Fury.
A further complication to the undisputed title fight is Fury’s situation regarding a third fight with Deontay Wilder.
Fury shelved the planned trilogy this month but has since been forced to enter a mediation process because Wilder is keen to agree terms to share the ring again.
The WBC told Sky Sports that they would give their “full support” to a third Fury vs Wilder fight in 2021.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said: “Wilder is a tremendous, important element. He was five years champion of the WBC. Extremely loyal.
“The greatest knockout ratio. The percentage is unbelievable and he is a very dear fighter, a champion in the WBC and he deserves, of course, another opportunity.
“He gave Tyson Fury the opportunity and Tyson Fury beat him, knocked him out, and, of course, Wilder is in the mix.
“He deserves an opportunity and we will see how things evolve in the coming year.
“We’re just hoping that everything gets resolved and everybody is happy and we see great fights inside the ring.”