Anthony Joshua: Sparring Tyson Fury would benefit me

By Sports Desk December 18, 2019

Anthony Joshua might regret going public with his offer to spar Tyson Fury but the unified heavyweight world champion believes practice rounds against his fellow Briton would be beneficial.

Fury is set to return to the ring in February for a rematch with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, a contest that two-time IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua will have a keen eye on.

In an interview with Sky Sports News on Tuesday, Joshua surprisingly told Fury he would be willing to be one of his sparring partners ahead of the Wilder bout.

That offer was welcomed by Fury, who said on Instagram he would "really love" to have Joshua in his training camp, and while the 30-year-old conceded he perhaps should not have spoken about it publicly, he expanded on why he would want to spar a potential future opponent.

Speaking to iFL TV, Joshua said: "Sometimes, when I look back at some of the s*** I say, I think, 'Why did I say that?'

"Fury's a world-class fighter and I'm a world-class fighter that's still trying to improve so I can become an elite-level fighter when I'm fighting.

"Sparring Fury's only going to do me good, in my opinion. I'm never too big for my boots where I can't learn any more. That opportunity for me to spar Fury is for my own benefit as well.

"The reason why I thought about it and why it came to fruition for me is because I feel like if Fury was to win that fight, I think he would be more inclined to fight me next and quicker than Wilder would.

"How long I've been waiting to fight for the [WBC] championship belt... I think if Fury had it, me and him would have got a deal done already now. That's why I was rooting for Fury to win because I just want to fight and collect my last belt."

Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, did not dismiss the prospect of his prized asset going toe to toe with Fury in sparring either.

Hearn also predicted the two will meet in the ring down the line, regardless of whether Fury beats Wilder or not.

"When I saw [Joshua's comments], I was like, 'How you gonna do that?'," he said in his own interview with iFL TV.

"I wouldn't be surprised. I think now he's said it, I really wouldn't be surprised if he ended up flying out there and doing some rounds.

"It's a weird one. They will definitely fight. If Fury wins against Wilder, or loses against Wilder, I promise you AJ and Fury will fight at some point in the future. Unquestionably."

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