Former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 22-1 (21) only has eyes for Andy Ruiz Jr 33-1 (22) despite Tyson Fury’s latest jibe as he prepares for his rematch in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
Joshua lost his WBA, IBF and WBO world championships to Ruiz Jr in an upset in June when he was stopped in seven rounds at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden.
This week Fury claimed “if he gets knocked out again there’s no chance” of an all-British battle against his longtime rival Joshua.
But promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing insists it “will always be a big fight” regardless of the result.
“This is the first time that we have ever gone into a fight where we couldn’t care less about Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“The only thing that matters is beating Ruiz Jr.
“Once you do that, everything will take care of itself because you’re the guvnor of the division.
“That’s why it’s such a monstrous fight.
“Can he come back from defeat? Yes of course he can. But it is so important to bounce back and beat Ruiz Jr, and go down in history. He is so focused, and so is Ruiz Jr.
“Joshua has become a real student of the game in this camp, and he needs to do that to beat Ruiz Jr who is going to be confident, fast, powerful.
“This will be a historic moment for the heavyweight division.
“Those other guys can say what they want because, right now, we have our blinkers on.”
Fury, who appeared at the WWE Crown Jewel event on Thursday, said any fight between the pair would have to take place stateside.
“Well, if he gets knocked out again there’s no chance, is there, that’s for sure,” Fury 29-0-1 (20) told Sky Sports.
“If we were to fight, if he did win this fight, then all my fights have to be in America now, so unless they’re willing to travel to the US, which after his last visit I don’t think he’ll be too happy on going, then it’s not happening any time soon, that’s for sure.
“Not very near future no, but never say never.”
In a previous interview with Sky Sports, Joshua said Fury would be his dream fight.
“Right now, I’d say Fury at Wembley. The best of Britain. It is a massive fight,” he said.
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