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Fury mystified by Joshua interview, mega-fight must happen in 2021

WBC heavyweight king Tyson Fury believes his titanic showdown with unified champion Anthony Joshua simply must take place in 2021 and has expressed his surprise at his rival’s caginess when questioned about the mega-fight following his ninth-round win over Kubrat Pulev last weekend.

In his post-fight interview on Sky Sports, WBA Super, WBO and IBF champion Joshua refused to be drawn on whether the highly-anticipated clash with Fury would be next – despite his promoter Eddie Hearn insisting he would move heaven and earth to make it happen.

“Next year, the fight has to happen,” Fury told The Jonathan Ross Show. “[Joshua has] come over his final hurdle last week against Pulev. And now we’re both free to make this fight. I’m willing to do the fight.

“He was asked the question: ‘Do you want to fight Tyson Fury?’ Very plain and simple, and he never answered the question. It was a simple yes or no answer, wasn’t it?

“Then they said: ‘Do you think you’re the best heavyweight in the world?’ Didn’t answer the question. Ask me: ‘Do you want to fight Anthony Joshua?’ Yes.”

Fury insisted he is the premier heavyweight on the planet and can’t wait to prove it in the ring. “Me, by a mile. There we go, that’s how you answer the question,” he said. “He is unified champion now, I was in 2015 before my problems and I had to vacate them all. So it’ll be the first time since Lennox Lewis 20 years ago that there’s been an undisputed champion.

“I’m a creature of habit. I’ve done this since in the womb, basically. Came out fighting, fists ready. I’ll continue until there’s no more challenges, no more proper challenges to fight. When I beat Joshua next year, I’ll have beaten the best from the last era and my era. So then there’ll always be someone else to fight.”

Despite their rivalry, the WBC champion holds Joshua in the highest regard. “He’s a great fighter, Olympic gold medallist, two-time heavyweight champion just like me, he’s won all the best. He’s a great, great athlete,” added Fury.

Fury was speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show, which airs on ITV at 9.25pm on Saturday in the UK.