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Tyson Fury says he breathed new life into British heavyweight boxing along with archrival

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury

It’s not often you hear Tyson Fury utter a compliment.

It’s even rarer to hear one directed at his archrival Anthony Joshua.

The pair of British heavyweights have appeared to be on a collision for what seems like forever and while the potential super fight is no closer to being made than ever, WBC champion Fury 33-0-1 (24) says there is one thing he has in common with former two-time WBA, WBO and IBF champion Joshua 26-3 (23).

Namely, that British boxing is better off with them in it.

The next generation of heavyweights are the beneficiaries of their success, say Fury.

“I think we’ve given them a lot to aim for, with me and AJ,” Fury told Sky Sports.

“We’ve given them a lot of hope that it can be done. Because before I became world champion, Britain had only had maybe six or five world [heavyweight] champions throughout the history of boxing.

“All of a sudden we had a few more of late. A lot of highly ranked world heavyweights. I think we’ve inspired a lot of people and hopefully they can go on and continue to do well in the division.”

The current crop of young British heavyweights are still a ways off from challenging for a world title, but there is a lot to like about the talent coming through.

“I think we’ve got a lot of talent. Young David Adeleye, Solomon Dacres, Johnny Fisher, Frazer Clarke, Nathan Gorman, Daniel Dubois,” Fury said. “There’s a lot of red hot talent coming through in this country especially.

“I think there’s a lot of good fights at British level at the moment.

“I don’t think they’re anywhere near world level at the moment. They’re only young people so they should be contesting for English titles, maybe the British title. So I’m not sure how far they can go, but they definitely look like good prospects.”

Fury remains something of an enigma in the fight game. He marches to the beat of his own drum and often makes decisions that befuddle and frustrate the fans.

High profile bouts against Joshua and current unified champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) have failed to come to fruition, despite repeated trips to the negotiating table.

Right now, Joshua is negotiating a fight with big hitting former WBC champion Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) of the USA in Saudi Arabia in January. Ukrainian southpaw is set to defend his WBA, WBO and IBF titles against mandatory challenger Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois 19-1 (18) of England in Wroclaw, Poland next Saturday night.

Fury, meanwhile, will face boxing debutant and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a 10-round non-title bout under boxing rules in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 28.

What he does after that remains, as ever, a mystery.

But Fury again teased at a return to England where he fought his last two bouts following a run of five fight in the United States.

“I was supposed to fight at Old Trafford last year,” he said.

“Never say never.”