Joshua was in the gym preparing for an undisputed clash with Fury, when he learned that the fight was off but was happy to take the alternative option in Oleksandr Usyk this month
Anthony Joshua was in the gym training for an undisputed clash with Tyson Fury when he learned of the cancellation.
The pair were set to meet in a British super-fight for all the heavyweight world title belts in Saudi Arabia this summer.
But the fight was cancelled after Deontay Wilder gained a shot at a trilogy bout with Fury, despite the undisputed contracts already being signed.
And now Joshua has recalled the moment he found out he was unable to take on Fury, immediately being presented with Usyk.
“I think I had been training and I had a text message and some missed calls on my phone,” Joshua told the Daily Mail. “My management messaged me and said, ‘This is the situation’, but also immediately they said, ‘We have this other option lined up if you want it’. Fine, let’s go.
Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing)
“It was weird how I felt.”
Joshua was keen to make history in a bout with Fury, who he is becoming increasingly concerned he may not face due to “politics” over the belts.
And he has compared the pair’s situation to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao who he believed fought “after their primes”.
“I just think in 100 years all this stuff will be irrelevant, and honestly, I don’t let it bother me too much. I love boxing history, right,” Joshua continued. “Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, [Jack] Dempsey, [Muhammad] Ali, Jack Johnson — fighters have had major issues in boxing. For me, this is mine.
“We were meant to have fought by now and here we are talking about it, but it will happen. I know what people are saying about boxing politics, but I’ll promise before the end of my career I will have done everything in my power to fight Tyson Fury.
“We saw it with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (not fighting until they were beyond their primes) but that was a superstar fight.
“Me and Fury is streets, two warriors, two fighters who have come from the amateur system in the UK, and have taken the world by storm.
“We’ll get it on in Britain. Don’t worry about age, boxing politics, don’t worry about the American dollar. This is a British UK fight which can happen at Wembley, Tottenham, the O2, York Hall.”
‘AJ’ now faces another stern test of his heavyweight credentials, as he defends his unified titles against Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
And despite his uncertain future in rivalry with Fury, he has planned to focus first on a real “fight for the brain” against the dangerous Ukrainian.
“I’m looking trim for this fight. I’m fighting a guy who is a 12-round fighter. So it would be silly of me to go in there bulky with my muscles screaming for oxygen,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’ve been training like a 15-round fighter in this camp. I will be well-conditioned to fight. That is key. What happens when I train that way? My body adapts and takes its natural form. This is the form it has taken.
“Also I practice having the ability to [punch] four times, not just once. It’s a fight for the brain. Knowing what you’ve got in front of you and knowing how to deal with it.”