Boxing

Anthony Joshua vows to lure Tyson Fury out of retirement

Anthony Joshua weighed in 19 pounds heavier than Oleksandr Usyk ahead of the defence of his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in London on Saturday.

Anthony Joshua is confident he can lure Tyson Fury off the beach and the beer for a mega-money showdown anytime he wants.

Former heavyweight champ AJ was speaking at a special appearance at the Oxford Union where he gave a talk to students and played chess.

In June 2020 – when 32-year-old AJ was the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champ – he and the WBC Gypsy King, 33, agreed to a two-fight showdown to decide an undisputed king.

But Fury was forced into a third Deontay Wilder clash – that he won in iconic fashion – before Joshua was dethroned last September by Oleksandr Usyk.

The 2012 Olympic golden boy is expected to get a shot at redemption on July 23 when he and the Ukraine icon rerun their duel.

And AJ said he can then drag Fury out of the retirement he strolled off into after a magnificent uppercut knockout of Dillian Whyte last month.

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Speaking at the Oxford Union, Joshua said: “If Fury was in the boxing arena, was to come out of retirement and honour the gentleman’s agreement, there’s a lot of money to be made.

“First and foremost, I have a pound-for-pound fighter on my list in Usyk, who’s a tough competitor for sure.

“People say I only focus on what’s in front of me, which is a good way to be, but also I want to look at what the bigger picture holds so I can steamroll through, I have to, so I can get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

“So, for sure, I feel like retirement doesn’t mean that you’ve completely given up and you’re on the beach clicking your phone drinking a bottle of Corona.

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“I feel he’s still ticking over and he’ll come back if the right fight is presented to him.”

British boxing is desperate for AJ to get back to winning ways after the bizarre way he conceded his titles at Tottenham Stadium.

The 6ft 6in powerhouse tried to outbox the smaller southpaw technician and former undisputed cruiserweight boss.

The result was a unanimous points decision defeat and the end of his decade-long partnership with team GB mastermind Rob McCracken.

For the rematch, AJ appears to be entrusting unproven assistant coach Angel Fernandez with head-trainer duties and the task of stripping him back to his old KO-artist prime.

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