Anthony Joshua, after breakdown of Tyson Fury fight, says about next opponent Oleksandr Usyk: "I've got another challenger who's good, just as good. I have to be serious about him now" | AJ vs Usyk live on Sky Sports Box Office, September 25
Wednesday 21 July 2021 17:04, UK
Anthony Joshua has aimed a dig at Tyson Fury by insisting his next challenger Oleksandr Usyk will "definitely step up".
Joshua's IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships are at stake at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25 against Usyk, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
He retains hope of an undisputed title fight despite negotiations to meet WBC champion Tyson Fury coming to nothing, when Fury was instead ruled to take on Deontay Wilder by a court.
Joshua exclusively told Sky Sports about the breakdown in talks to fight Fury: "I don't want to point any fingers. I was definitely ready. We move forward.
"I've got another challenger who's good, just as good.
"I have to be serious about him now.
"He will definitely step up, he will definitely take the fight. That's what I need - people that are serious.
"I would have loved to have boxed for the undisputed championship because it was a big fight for the public. We had everything set up.
"I have to move forward and not keep dwelling."
Fury and Wilder will collide in a trilogy fight on October 9, meaning any prospective meeting with Joshua for every belt in the division would have to wait until next year.
But Joshua is optimistic: "The most important fight for me is the next one but you have to have a vision of where you want to get to.
"I have to stay consistent and stay ready.
"Once I fight Usyk, who knows what will happen next?
"Will I fight Fury, Wilder, Dillian Whyte, Andy Ruiz, Luis Ortiz? Who knows.
"I have to stay on track and ready for each fight, but have a long-term plan.
"It's about the belts, not the person. I don't mind who it is. I want to fight for legacy."
Joshua is returning to the ring for the first time since December when he dispatched Kubrat Pulev in nine rounds.
His WBO mandatory challenger Usyk, the undefeated Ukrainian who won a gold medal alongside Joshua at the 2012 Olympics, most recently beat Derek Chisora.