Tyson Fury trains in the dark after Anthony Joshua warns he will ‘take his head off’ in anticipated 2021 heavyweight title unifier
Joshua defended his IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles with a ninth-round knockout of mandatory Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev in London earlier in December, seemingly paving the way for a super fight next year with WBC king Fury.
Both fighters’ camps have said they are intensifying discussions for a potential double-header to unify the belts, in what would be the biggest fights in British boxing history – even though at least one of them could take place on foreign shores if fans remain prohibited from entering arenas in the UK.Also on rt.com Joshua lands BRUTAL KO win against Pulev – but Fury says ‘big bum dosser’ is ‘sh*tting himself’ over unification fight (VIDEO)
The expectation surrounding a contest between unbeaten 32-year-old Manchester fighter Fury and Olympic gold medalist Joshua was cranked up a notch recently when historic footage reemerged of ‘The Gypsy King’ tipping Joshua for greatness after sparring with the Watford-born fighter when he was still an amateur.
Joshua has now recalled that session and his aim of winning a Rolex in a wager with Fury at the time, but the London fighter says his intentions will be filled with far more menace when the pair step between the ropes again.
“All I wanted was his Rolex,” Joshua said of the sparring session, the Independent reported. “He said before that spar ‘if you can beat me up or knock me out, you can have my Rolex watch’, so I was hungry then and I am even hungrier now.
“That is what I did to him then, it was a good spar when I was 18 and didn’t really know too much, it was just passion.
“Now I have some boxing IQ and passion, I know it will be a great fight. There was a Rolex but now there is an even bigger pot of gold at the end of this rainbow and I want to take his head off his shoulders when that fight happens.”
With concerns lingering over when fans will be allowed back into arenas in the UK in large numbers, discussions have shifted to the battle of the two British giants potentially happening in foreign lands to cash in as much as possible.
Saudi Arabia has been touted as one location – a place where Joshua has already fought, having reclaimed his titles in a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr just outside Riyadh in December 2019.
Joshua said he was unconcerned with where he faces Fury, so long as the deal is sealed.
“Honestly, if this is the fight that people want to see – whether it’s in the UK, in Saudi or Africa – I just hope the fight gets done,” said the 31-year-old.
“I promise you the road to undisputed is something I’m keen on. When it was Deontay Wilder that was my focus and he admitted we gave him lucrative offers that he turned down. Now it’s Tyson Fury and that’s my pure focus. The offers will be made, substantial offers.
“I promise you this: I will put in a serious offer to fight Tyson Fury and if he’s serious himself, he will take it.”Also on rt.com 'I don't need a pat on the back': Tyson Fury threatens LEGAL ACTION against BBC unless they remove him from award shortlist
Joshua added that should the Fury fight fall through for whatever reason, he would eye a bout with Ukrainian cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk, who recently took the successful step up to the heavyweight ranks.
"If [Fury’s not serious], I will fight Oleksandr Usyk and leave it there,” Joshua said.
“I'm serious about the fight so when I announce it you'll know it's real. That's why I'm taking my time – because there has been a lot of back-and-forth for years. I've been chasing this road to undisputed and when the time is right, I'll announce it and I'll have my mind fully focused on the job at hand…”
“Listen to that interview from years ago, [Fury] knows about my uppercut, he knew about it from when I was 18 years old. Trust me, he knows what’s coming, he knows.
“Tyson Fury is a good challenger, someone to help me progress, he will be a great learning fight. And, once that is done, I will go on to compete with the rest of the division.”
Meanwhile, the irrepressible Fury took to social media this week to share his preparations, posting footage of himself training in the dark.
“I was born in the dark. I train alone, because no one’s going to help me when I’m in there fighting for my life,” Fury warned.
The 6ft 9in star boasts a record of 30 wins and one draw from his 31 fights, while Joshua’s only blemish in his 25 fights was a shock defeat to Ruiz Jr in New York in June of 2019.