May 1, 2017
May 1, 2017
Joshua-Pulev

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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ANTHONY JOSHUA could be set for another colossal heavyweight showdown as Tyson Fury and his team continue to talk up a potential domestic grudge match.

Joshua retained his IBF title and won the vacant WBA belt by stopping Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round of their instant classic at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.

The unbeaten Londoner called out Fury immediately after his win, and Tyson responded on social media and insists he doesn’t need a warm-up fight, despite having not seen any action since his own enormous win over Klitschko in 2015.

“I know he’s up for fighting him so that would be very good. That’s Tyson’s view of it, that he doesn’t need a warm up fight, and he believes what he says,” Tyson’s trainer, Peter Fury, told Boxing News.

“I think it’s quite possible [the fight happens this year]. It’s not been discussed though.

“It’s a fight that would be massive for the British fans to see and these major all-English fights are what get interest. It would definitely be bigger than Joshua-Klitschko, it would be absolutely massive.

“I think it’s a good result, what’s happened, because now they’ve both beaten Klitschko – albeit in different fashion – people would be intrigued to see how they’d deal with each other styles. I think it would be a major event.”

Joshua-Klitschko broke UK pay-per-view records and saw 90,000 cram into Wembley Stadium but a fight between ‘AJ’ and Fury would eclipse even that.

Fury recently confirmed that he intends to return to boxing as he trains alongside WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in Marbella in a bid to boil himself back down to his fighting weight.

In a week’s time he will have a hearing to determine whether his boxing licence will be reinstated by the British Boxing Board of Control after they suspended him on the grounds of “anti-doping and medical issues”.

On Saturday night pre-fight favourite Joshua rose from a sixth-round knockdown to stop Klitschko in the 11th round of an almighty battle. Conversely, Fury upset enormous odds in Germany to shut down and befuddle Klitschko, winning a unanimous decision.

Peter was left impressed by Joshua’s gutsy showing against Klitschko, having previously felt that the 27-year-old could come unstuck against the vastly more experienced Ukrainian.

“I thought Joshua raised his game very well,” he continued.

“I saw, at least, a 30 per cent improvement from all of his past fights. I saw a real improvement in Joshua. As I said before the fight, on the basis of his previous performances, it wouldn’t have been enough for Klitschko.

“He did very well, he seemed to hold it together in the early rounds. He took a good shot, he went down and I think it took him a couple of rounds to recover from that shot but he came through it.”

Tyson Fury

When probed on what weaknesses he saw in Joshua against Klitschko – that Tyson or his cousin Hughie could capitalise on – Peter kept his cards close to his chest.

He said: “I think we can always look from the outside of the ring and there are always things we think we can take advantage of but ultimately, when that bell goes, these guys are big punchers so it can go either way.”

Joshua dropped Klitschko in the fifth stanza of their gruelling contest, but badly ran out of steam soon after, resulting in him suffering the first knockdown of his career in the sixth. Klitschko, 41, failed to put together the finishing blows and Joshua eventually rallied to prevail.

Fury believes that, beside Joshua’s impressive conditioning, the fact he is 14 years Klitschko’s junior played a significant part in his victory.

“The guy’s sheer fitness, that was a telling factor, but it did come down to age. Youth prevails in a contest like this in the later rounds,” he said.

“If that would have been a young, hungry heavyweight that had Joshua in that sort of trouble, he wouldn’t have weathered the storm. Klitschko, he stood back, he was very hesitant. Klitschko was very tentative and he looked like he was just as tired as Joshua, and he couldn’t do anything about it.

“I would say it came down to age more than anything, but let’s not take anything away from his [Joshua’s] victory. Klitschko came to win, he’s still an awkward champion and he’s a great fighter. Joshua did very well.”