Tyson Fury 'needs to redeem himself' by fighting me, says Anthony Joshua

Heavyweight unification bout between WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Usyk and WBC belt-holder Fury was scrapped last week after the Ukrainian's promoter blamed Fury's 'unacceptable' demands

Anthony Joshua poses for a photo at the launch party for his upcoming bout against Jermaine Franklin at Battersea Power station on March 27, 2023 in London, England. Getty Images
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Anthony Joshua says longtime rival Tyson Fury can "redeem himself from the circus" of his collapsed undisputed heavyweight title bout with Oleksandr Usyk by agreeing to meet him in the ring.

The much-anticipated heavyweight unification bout between WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Usyk and WBC belt-holder Fury was scrapped last week after the Ukrainian's promoter blamed Fury's “unacceptable” demands.

Joshua said: "There's no better time to get Fury in the ring than now because he needs me to redeem himself from this circus, this letdown.

"He needs me so there's no better time than for him to call my name out and I'm someone that will take on any challenge."

Joshua, whose record stands at 24 wins, 22 knock-outs, and three losses, takes on Jermaine Franklin at London's O2 Arena on Saturday, his first ring appearance since losing his rematch to Usyk in Saudi Arabia last summer.

The Englishman, 34, has said he is targeting one "last run" at heavyweight gold and emulating the great Muhammad Ali as the division's only three-time champion.

Fury called off a proposed bout against Joshua last year, saying his rival had missed a deadline in which to agree terms for what would have been the biggest fight in British heavyweight history.

Fury, 34, then set his sights on facing unbeaten 36-year-old Usyk in what would have been the first undisputed heavyweight contest since 1999.

But after weeks of negotiations, both parties announced an agreement could not be reached due to a dispute over the terms of a potential rematch.

World Boxing Council chief Mauricio Sulaiman said it was "extremely disappointing" that negotiations between Fury and Usyk to unify the heavyweight titles had broke down. Unbeaten in all 33 bouts as a professional, Fury has held the WBC crown since February 2020.

“The WBC has been extremely supportive of the ultimate unification fight between Fury and Usyk to determine the undisputed champion in the heavyweight division,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

“It is extremely disappointing that such a match will not take place as this window of opportunity will not be there in a long time, it will be difficult to have everything aligned as there are mandatories for each organisation.”

Sulaiman added that a final elimination fight between former champions Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jr would determine Fury's next opponent.

“The WBC convention ruled that a final elimination would take place between Wilder and Ruiz to determine the mandatory contender of the division," Sulaiman said. "The WBC had been waiting for the confirmation of the unification fight so we will now review the following steps to be taken."

However, that fight, which still has no date, is also in doubt. Both Wilder and Ruiz had been promoted by Al Hayman's Premier Boxing Champions before the former announced last month that he was a "free agent" and open to offers from rival promoters.

Wilder fought an epic trilogy against Fury, drawing the first fight before losing the next two – the last via an 11th round knockout in October 2021. Ruiz shocked the boxing world when he knocked out then champion Joshua in June 2019 only to lose the rematch in Saudi Arabia six months later.

Updated: March 29, 2023, 7:33 AM