Anthony Joshua vows to become a three-time heavyweight champion as he seeks to rebuild his career after the failed Tyson Fury fight
ANTHONY JOSHUA insists a third world title reign remains his dream despite turning down a Christmas crack at Tyson Fury.
After 33-year-old Olympic legend AJ lost to Oleksandr Usyk for a second consecutive season in August, mastermind WBC champion Fury made him a last-minute offer for a December showdown.
Joshua wisely rejected the Battle of Britain, leaving it to the 34-year-old Gypsy King to retire his stablemate and friend Derek Chisora to rebuild his career.
The two-time heavyweight boss has been on another US tour in search of a new trainer and is expected to return against some tuning opponents in April.
After back-to-back losses, the idea of a jumping stunner with American knockout artist Deontay Wilder is utterly imaginative — even at this time of year.
But the Watford ace has at least promised that a third world title run is his New Year’s resolution.
“I like it when my name is constantly mentioned among other fighters,” he said.
“The opportunities are always there for me, there are great opportunities to fight.
“I’m going to fight anyone who’s ready, I’m ready and we’re going to kick things off in the new year.
“I want to be consistent, fit to fight and everything comes from that.
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“I’m dying for the World Cup, 100 percent. This is all where my heart and soul lead.”
After Usyk’s second loss, AJ grabbed the mic and pumped out a decade’s passion and emotion from his huge chest.
In the post-fight press conference, he broke down in tears as he tried to explain the pressure of carrying a nation’s expectations into the ring.
With Fury and Usyk now going head-to-head to determine an undisputed ruler, and a long list of mandatory lineups after that – which AJ doesn’t include – he’s had to re-evaluate his career.
“I lost a fight this year that put me out of the title race,” he said.
“So if you’re constantly fighting for championships for championships, you’re constantly in the race for a long time.
“When I lost I was finally out of the race and overcoming it was a fresh start, something I was used to, being in the title race for seven years and then finally realizing that’s not my norm anymore.
“It’s a challenge to overcome that.
“I’ve always been a competitor, a challenge for me is just another obstacle to overcome and for some I feel like it’s easier to knock down and hold down
“But as a competitor, you just see it as another challenge that I can master.
“It’s going to take work, at this race I’m used to being in that competitor’s mindset but I’ll get through it for sure.
Joshua was little more than a passenger when Ukraine icon Usyk first singled him out at Tottenham in September 2021.
But he put on a drastically improved performance in the Saudi Arabia replay and restored much of his reputation by being aggressive until the final bell.
The London 2012 hero suggests this is a new approach he’ll be using on both sides of the ropes from now on.
He said: “If you’re someone who doesn’t like confrontation, but you know that being shy and being shy won’t get you what you want, sometimes you have to be confrontational to get what you want.
“I am now, this year, someone who would strive for what I want and to get what I want I have to be the person I have to be.
“Being more confident, being more confrontational about things, and being honest with people so they know who you are and what you stand for.
“Love me for it or hate me for it, I’m pretty happy with who I am.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6987804/anthony-joshua-tyson-fury-world-title/ Anthony Joshua vows to become a three-time heavyweight champion as he seeks to rebuild his career after the failed Tyson Fury fight