Anthony Joshua has promised to “stand as a champion” if he has no other choice but to vacate a world heavyweight title and vowed “I’ll get it back again”.
The 30-year-old North Londoner won back his WBA ‘super, IBF and WBO belts with a impressive points victory over Andy Ruiz Jr last month and has already been told to make title defences against Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk, his IBF and WBO mandatory challengers.
With both the IBF and WBO ordering their respected fights, promoter Eddie Hearn is aiming to please both parties that would allow AJ to fulfil both title obligations, but Joshua isn’t fussed about his next career move since regaining his heavyweight crown and coming back from the only defeat of his career.
“I always said the belts do not represent me,” Joshua told the media. “I will stand as a champion, even if I have to give one up.
“It would give me an opportunity to face another world champion – I’ve beaten four world champions on my record now.
“If I give up a belt it creates more history and entertainment. If I have to, I’ll give it away – but I’ll get it back again.”
The IBF told the media last month that they hope to reach a resolution for Pulev with the Bulgarian to receive the first title fight with Joshua, while Usyk has been offered an alternative fight against Finchley warhorse Derek Chisora in early 2020.
Joshua is expected to make his welcome return to the ring in April or May, with the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium football stadium as a possible venue, and he applauded the opportunity for a London homecoming at the 62,062 seated stadium.
“I’d like that. I’m cool with that,” said Joshua. “I still find it weird that we talk about Wembley and Tottenham!
“I asked Eddie where we will fight next if Wembley isn’t available, and he said Tottenham. I haven’t been to Tottenham’s ground yet.”
Written By Kenny Leavett.