Anthony Joshua jokes he might fight for next 20 years
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Anthony Joshua has fired a warning to his heavyweight opponent Oleksandr Usyk ahead of their bout on Saturday night. The Brit will take on the Ukrainian, who is the WBO’s mandatory challenger, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in his first fight since seeing off Kubrat Pulev last December.
Joshua had hoped to be fighting fellow Brit Tyson Fury this summer, but the Gypsy King was forced to honour his trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder and so the unified heavyweight champion of the world was matched with Usyk.
The southpaw fighter represents a challenging opponent for Joshua, with him being the only cruiserweight in history to unify the four major world championships and one of the best active pound-for-pound boxers in the world.
He is relatively inexperienced at this weight, though, having only beaten Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora since moving up divisions.
Joshua praised his opponent for picking a fight with him after such a short amount of time spent at this weight, but reminded Usyk of the challenge that awaits him.
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“They want it now,” Joshua said. “Let’s give Usyk credit because I wouldn’t want to be in the ring with me.
“I swear to God, I wouldn’t want to be in the ring with someone like me. Good luck to him Saturday.”
There was a lot of mutual respect on show between the pair at the pre-fight press conference on Thursday.
Joshua made a point of heading straight to Usyk and his entourage as he got on stage to fist-bump each of them.
And then they shared a warm handshake after facing off for the cameras.
Tyson Fury said Joshua will find the fight tough, but admitted he wanted his compatriot to win so the pair can face one another in the ring.
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“Do I want him to win? Definitely,” the Gypsy King said. “Because it doesn’t make much sense in me beating Usyk up.
“I’d much prefer to beat Joshua up. It’s a bigger fight and people want to see it more.
“If Usyk does then he will cost us a few quid, won’t he?”
In return Joshua has spoken abut Fury’s upcoming fight, but seemed less supporting of his fellow Briton.
He described Wilder as “obsessed, like he really wants it,” and backed the Bronze Bomber to come out victorious on October 9.
“[Wilder seems really focused on the task ahead. A focused man is a dangerous man, and he’s focused,” Joshua observed.
“It has to be a knockout,” he added.
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