Joshua sees 'the end' in sight ahead of Fury fights as he teases retirement plans

By Sports Desk January 07, 2021

Anthony Joshua has vowed he will not become an old man in the boxing ring, stating he has "five years left" in his career.

Britain's WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world champion is set for a unification fight with WBC belt holder Tyson Fury this year.

Details have yet to be disclosed of exactly where and when that two-fight series will happen, but it is poised to be a major moment in the career of both men, given the stakes involved.

Joshua is at that stage of his career where he is already a global star but where such fights matter in defining his legacy.

That is what he will look to achieve before hanging up his gloves, with the 31-year-old having shaken off the disappointment of a first professional defeat in 2019, when he lost to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Joshua said: "This isn't the start of my career. I'm coming towards the end of my career.

"I'm not someone who lives in the moment and thinks that everything is just like for now. I'm always planning ahead so I'm coming towards the end of my career.

"Five years left and that's basically an Olympic cycle. I've got an Olympic cycle and a little bit more left, so when you see the next Olympics happen is when I'll be coming to the end of my career and the next generation will be coming through."

Joshua beat Kubrat Pulev in December to keep a grip on his belts, allowing plans for the Fury bout to remain on track and progressing to a 24-1 career win-loss record.

A two-fight deal with Fury, who dismissed Joshua as a "chump" on social media on Thursday, was said to have been verbally agreed in the weeks after the Pulev fight.

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said the first instalment could happen in the Middle East unless stadiums are again allowed to be filled to capacity in the United Kingdom, currently a distant prospect amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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    Anthony Joshua has no concerns over where his undisputed heavyweight showdown against Tyson Fury might be staged – boasting he is ready to fight "in my back garden [or] your back garden".

    Talks between the camps of WBC heavyweight champion Fury and Joshua, who holds the WBA, WBO and IBF versions, are progressing with a view to sealing potentially the richest bout in boxing history.

    Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports earlier this month that only "minor details" needed to be ironed out after both camps had swapped draft contracts.

    The developing COVID-19 situation means a variety of locations are being considered as hosts, with a fight in the UK in the middle of this year appearing a long-shot.

    Hearn has listed Saudi Arabia, the United States, Qatar, Dubai, Singapore and China as possible destinations, but Joshua told Sky News he has no preference.

    "Any option. Home turf, Middle East, my back garden, your back garden. I don't mind where it is," he said.

    "I'm just ready to fight. I want that belt. I want to compete with Fury so all options are open to me.

    "[The pandemic] is getting close to things being normal. We're working on a date for around June.

    "So if Tyson is serious, which I think he is, he'll know where to come and find the boss.

    "I'm ready. I'm really looking forward to competition - all I want to do is fight, fight, fight."

    Joshua, who secured a dominant ninth-round triumph over Kubrat Pulev in December, and his manager Freddie Cunningham have both claimed positive developments in the talks with Fury's team this week.

    "I try not to do too much teasing. I had a catch-up with 258 Management, the great team I've been working with since I turned professional," the 31-year-old added.

    "They have been working in negotiations. They updated my promotional team, they updated me."

    Fury became a two-time heavyweight champion when he demolished Deontay Wilder to claim the WBC crown 12 months ago.

    Wilder's apparent desire to activate a rematch clause could yet scupper Joshua v Fury, although the American has behaved erratically since his first career loss and Hearn has been told by Fury's representatives that his option "isn't going to be an issue".

    Joshua's mandatory for the WBO title is due, although the sanctioning body have ruled fellow Briton Joe Joyce will fight former unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in an interim bout, with the winner to face whoever prevails between Joshua and Fury.

  • Berchelt released from hospital after brutal Valdez KO Berchelt released from hospital after brutal Valdez KO

    Mexican super-featherweight boxer Miguel Berchelt has been released from hospital following his vicious knockout at the hands of Oscar Valdez.

    Promoters Top Rank confirmed the 29-year-old's CT scan had come back clear, allaying fears after Berchelt lost his WBC belt in brutal fashion.

    Valdez dethroned his compatriot at the MGM Grand on Saturday, flooring Berchelt with devastating left hook in the final second of the 10th round.

    Having knocked down Berchelt twice earlier in the fight, Valdez finally landed the decisive blow to leave his opponent lying unconscious on the canvas for a few tense moments in Las Vegas.

    Top Rank posted a picture of the pair in the ring after the fight showing a groggy Berchelt sat on a stool with Valdez kneeling in front of him, the two touching gloves.

    The caption read: "In the end, the respect between these two was at the core of what made this fight so special."

    It added: "Per reports from the hospital, Miguel Berchelt's CT scan was clear, and he has been released."

  • Valdez dethrones Berchelt with brutal 10th-round KO Valdez dethrones Berchelt with brutal 10th-round KO

    Oscar Valdez upset Miguel Berchelt with a brutal knockout to become the WBC super featherweight champion.

    Valdez (29-0) dethroned Berchelt at MGM Grand, where he floored his fellow Mexican with a devastating left hook in the final second of the 10th round on Saturday.

    Having knocked down Berchelt (38-2) twice earlier in the fight, Valdez landed the vicious blow in the 10th as his opponent laid unconscious on the canvas for a few tense moments in Las Vegas.

    "There's nothing better in life than proving people wrong. I had a list of people who doubted me. My idols doubted me. Boxing analysts doubted me," Valdez said.

    "They said Miguel Berchelt was gonna knock me out. But I got a message to tell everybody: Don't let nobody tell you what you can can and can't do.

    "Always work hard and be disciplined in life. Try to do your best, stay disciplined, and never let anyone tell you you can't do something. Prove them wrong."

    Valdez – now a two-time world champion having previously enjoyed a reign as WBO featherweight champion for nearly three years – added: "It wasn't easy training in a pandemic, but try to go for your dreams.

    "Always train hard, do your best, try to always be number one. Nothing's impossible. My team was a big part of this."

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