Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua admits he would’ve made the same move as Tyson Fury...

Anthony Joshua admits he would’ve made the same move as Tyson Fury if given the chance

Tyson Fury. Photo credit: Getty Images

The has been a lot of debate in the boxing world over the past few weeks as to whether WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s decision to fight former UFC heavyweight champion and boxing debutant Francis Ngannou in a non-title bout is a good idea.

The 34-year-old Fury 33-0-1 (24) accepted a big money offer from Saudi Arabia to face Cameroonian-French Ngannou, 36, over 10 rounds in Riyadh on October 28.

Boxing purists say the move is bringing the sport into disrepute, while some others believe this type of crossover matchmaking is exactly what the sport needs to attract new fans.

Fury has received surprise support from rival former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua 25-3 (22), who is gearing up to face Dillian Whyte 29-3 (19) at the O2 Arena in London, England on August 12.

“I’m not frustrated by that because I’ve been champion and I know my process and I’m on this rebuilding phase, but I can understand for people waiting in line it must be massively frustrating,” Joshua said of Fury’s decision to face Ngannou.

“To become champion for some people is the be all and end all. That’s all they want to do and then they can pack up. I feel sorry for the people who want to know where they are going with their career.

“But Fury has to do what Fury has to do for him. I admire the guy for his confidence to do what’s right for him – he has an ‘eff it’ mentality. I think we all need a bit of that in today’s society.

“If you want to hold him accountable, then yes, he should be fighting active fighters and he should wait until the end of his career, when he’s not champion anymore, to compete with MMA fighters.”

Fury has failed to land a meaningful fight in the wake of his trilogy against Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) that saw him go 2-0-1 (2) and ended two years ago.

Negotiations for lucrative bouts against Joshua and reigning WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) fell apart.

Joshua lamented his back-to-back losses to Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, who defeated him on points in 2021 and 2022.

Part of him wishes he took a leaf from Fury’s playbook.

“When all is said and done it will just be part of [Fury’s] legacy and I think we will all forget about it sooner or later,” Joshua said.

“Usyk was my mandatory and I ended up losing to him. I would have loved to have gone to Saudi to compete with someone else and make a shit load of money and swerve my mandatory.

“I would still be champion if I could do that but I didn’t get that opportunity and I had to take it on the chin. But life isn’t always fair.”