AJ says Tyson Fury 'needs' him and admits a bout could be on the cards

‘Tyson Fury needs me!’: Anthony Joshua says there is ‘no better time’ for him to face the Gypsy King and insists a Battle of Britain clash could happen THIS SUMMER… but admits he must impress against Jermaine Franklin to ‘prove he is a contender’

  • AJ says a battle of Britain clash with Tyson Fury could take place this summer
  • Joshua says Fury ‘needs him’ after his clash with Oleksandr Usyk fell through
  • But, AJ says he must impress against Jermaine Franklin to warrant the fight
  • Sign up here to watch Anthony Joshua’s fight with Jermaine Franklin on DAZN 

Anthony Joshua says a battle of Britain clash with Tyson Fury could take place this summer if the Gypsy King fails to reach an agreement with Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua will return to the ring on Saturday evening to face Jermaine Franklin in his first fight since last year’s rematch defeat to the Ukrainian heavyweight.

Joshua has said a clash with the Gypsy King could be on the cards if he defeats Franklin at the O2 Arena – claiming Fury ‘needs’ him. 

Speaking ahead of his clash with the American heavyweight, Joshua said: ‘There is no better time [for me to face Tyson Fury].

‘Provided the Usyk fight doesn’t happen and he [Fury] doesn’t fight anyone in between, he needs me at the minute.’

Anthony Joshua says a battle of Britain clash with Tyson Fury could take place this summer

Joshua says there is no better time for him and Fury (right) to go toe-to-toe as the Gypsy King’s bout with Oleksandr Usyk (left) has fallen through

However, Joshua recognises the fact he needs to impress on Saturday night to get Fury’s attention. 

AJ said: ‘I’ve got to fight like I am leaning towards a championship fight. The current champions need to look at me and think he’s a serious contender coming up. So that’s how that feels now.’

Joshua went on to add: ‘I’m moving in that direction again. I have to fight like I’m heading towards that and I will. So, that’s good.’

Meanwhile, Eddie Hearn said: ‘I truly believe that as long as AJ beats Franklin we will see him against Fury in the summer. 

‘Both sides had a deal finalised for a December fight. That fight fell through but the contract is still with both sides.

‘Disputes over purse splits wrecked Fury-Usyk but we have an agreement in place of 60-40 in Tyson’s favour. He was going to get 70-30 against Usyk but everyone accepts that AJ is a bigger draw for the UK fans than Oleksandr.

Eddie Hearn is confident a fight between Joshua and Fury will take place this summer

Joshua also opened up on his previous negotiations with the Gypsy King and explained how Fury’s deadlines were the reason a potential bout fell through

‘I have had talks this week with George Warren (Fury promoter Frank Warren’s son and consigliere) and fundamentally the original contract is still in place.

‘And we all know that the timing is perfect now, as it happens because of the circumstances with Usyk. And that this is the very last chance for this huge fight to happen.

‘I expect to be exchanging pilot contracts with Queensberry soon. Maybe as early as next week. AJ knows there’s a big opportunity. At last. So much at stake now. But he also has his total focus on Franklin. 

‘Who, by the way, is in absolutely ripped condition. Much better than for his fight with Dillian Whyte. Now I’m even more nervous about Saturday night.’

However, Fury said he would never engage in negotiations with Joshua again after their December bout fell through.

Negotiations over the highly-anticipated bout had been ongoing for months before both parties declared the fight on December 3 was officially off the cards. 

The Gypsy King said he was furious at AJ for ‘wasting his time’ and stated he would never fight the 32-year-old in the future as a result.   

When asked why his fight with Fury fell through, Joshua said: ‘Fury’s a great champion. He’s been entertaining for the public.’

‘I think he’s given us a lot of entertaining commentary and a lot of entertaining fights with Deontay Wilder. He’s done well for himself. 

Joshua will face Jermaine Franklin (right) at the O2 on Saturday night in his first fight since last year’s rematch defeat to Ukrainian heavyweight, Usyk 

‘In terms of us, I the arbitration was done. That was signed and sealed. I was in training for that fight and it fell through. Then we had this recent one where he gave me a deadline. 

‘I was serious about that fight, I took it. I told Eddie yeah lets look at this situation but Fury was like you have this amount of time to get it done.’

Joshua went on to add: ‘It’s difficult when someone is trying dictate you and put you under that much pressure. 

‘But, it is what is it. I understand his frustrations. He wanted to get out but it wasn’t time permitted. Now, I feel like there is no better time.’  

Sign up here to watch Anthony Joshua’s fight with Jermaine Franklin exclusively on DAZN 

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