Kyotaro Fujimoto talks Anthony Joshua and title ambitions
By Richard Damerell and Kajiura Takuma
Last Updated: 06/02/19 6:18am
Japan's leading heavyweight contender, Kyotaro Fujimoto, tells Sky Sports about world title ambitions, aiming for Anthony Joshua, and his colourful image.
Twenty victories have pushed the 32-year-old into the WBO's top ten, but he is jostling for position in a packed division that is ruled by unified champion Joshua and WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder.
Fujimoto has found it hard to secure major title opportunities during a seven-year career, which was briefly stalled by a solitary defeat, and admits he could leave the sport unless he secures a big-name bout.
How would you assess your career?
I started my career in K-1, but since I have decided the ultimate goal is a world title challenge. I am thinking that I am moving down a dark tunnel, step by step.
I won the title of Japan, OPBF, and WBO Asia Pacific, but I just said that I did a minimum of work within myself. I am not satisfied.
What more can you achieve in 2019?
I'm trying hard for my goal of becoming the first Asian world title challenger, so I will make that dream come true, and then I want to quit boxing as soon as possible.
However, even if you have the skill, it is difficult for a Japanese fighter to challenge for world titles in this division.
Were you close to a fight against Joseph Parker?
I held several talks about this fight, but the first time was not for the world title. I agreed the second offer, but the fight did not take place.
Kyotaro Fujimoto on Joseph Parker
What is your opinion of Anthony Joshua?
I think that he is the strongest in the heavyweight division. He has the momentum and will be a leading champion who is exciting for British boxing.
Would you like to fight Joshua in the future?
I am 32 years old, so I do not have enough time for the future. I want to fight even now, if I can.
Kyotaro Fujimoto on Anthony Joshua
Do you think we will see you fight in Britain?
If you want to see me fight, just call me any time!
You have a colourful image, when did that start?
Since I finished school. I simply like to be different from people, because my personality is not tedious.
Will you continue to dye your hair?
Yes, this won't change.
Can you become Japan's first world heavyweight champion?
That is what I want to become, however, when judging that there are no opportunities. I do not have much time, because I am considering moving to other fighting sports.