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Joshua: I will ‘smoke’ Fury with or without the belts

Anthony Joshua remains confident he will brush Tyson Fury aside when their paths eventually cross in a boxing ring.

The rival heavyweight champions were on course for an undisputed title fight in Saudi Arabia in August before the showdown collapsed when an arbitrator ruled Fury must meet Deontay Wilder in a previously contracted trilogy bout instead.

Fury-Wilder III was subsequently pushed back from a July 24 date to October 9 after the WBC champion tested positive for Covid-19. In the meantime, WBA Super, WBO and IBF king Joshua will face dangerous mandatory contender Oleksandr Usyk on September 25.

Frustrated by boxing politics, Joshua maintains he would face Fury without any of their four title belts on the line. Fighting Fury holds no fears for him after the ‘Gypsy King’ claimed Joshua didn’t fancy the job.

“He’s a fighter, isn’t he? What’s the worst that can happen? You get hit. He’s been doing it for years [saying I wouldn’t fight him],” Joshua told Gary Neville’s ‘The Overlap’.

“However, I just know on my end, and my management team and my promoter – we done everything we can to make this happen and, as long as I’m champion, I’ll compete with anyone. I’ve got a tough challenger coming up now [in Usyk]. A great fighter.

“[Fight Fury] without the belts? I rate that. That’s what I’m talking about. We’ll fight, 100 percent, let’s do it. I’ll smoke that guy. I will. It’s annoying. For me, I don’t really get into the Twitter back and forth, because it’s Twitter fingers. Anyone can sit behind a computer and talk. Let’s be real, let’s be honest. Let’s let the people know. You’re the one that let the fans down.

“I fought on December 12 [WKO9 Kubrat Pulev]. When they were like, ‘Who do you want to fight next?’ I said I don’t want to call out any names, and I know because I’m going to start shouting out people’s names and I’m going to be in this position now where the guys’ name I’m shouting out doesn’t want to fight or he’s not ready to fight.”