Joshua and Fury have been attempting to arrange a money-spinning all-British showdown for many years but have seen negotiations break down to crush the hearts of boxing fans craving to see the two face off.
The pair were in talks as recently as last year before Joshua missed a deadline set by Fury to sign his contract after AJ was beaten by Oleksandr Usyk. Fury has since agreed to a crossover fight with UFC star Francis Ngannou – and has also signed a contract to face Usyk either in December or early next year.
Joshua has no confirmed opponent after stopping Robert Helenius in August but his team have been in talks with Wilder’s camp to stage a fight in Saudi Arabia later this year – though those negotiations have hit a road block due to changes to the boxing management in the Middle East.
But Fury Snr says Joshua will have to find a way to face Wilder – and beat him – if he wants any chance of facing his son in the near future.
Joshua’s only road to facing Tyson Fury is by beating Deontay Wilder (R), says John Fury
Fury Snr said Joshua had to ‘earn’ his shot at the Gypsy King by beating ‘the second best heavyweight in the world’
‘The only way that can happen is if he beats Deontay Wilder,’ he told Mail Sport.
‘Everyone is skipping Wilder and no one wants to face him. I can’t stand him as a man but every boxer on the planet is s*** scared of him except the Gypsy King, who’s beat him twice. If AJ wants to face Tyson, let him defeat Wilder. No one wants Wilder. They can’t take Wilder’s power.’
Joshua has been looking to rebuild himself off the back of two damaging losses to Usyk in 2021 and again in 2022, which saw him lose his three world titles belts to the Ukrainian. Usyk won the first fight in London unanimously before securing the second thanks to a split decision.
Since then, Joshua has beaten Jermain Franklin on points before his stoppage of Helenius this summer – but Fury Snr dismissed the two opponents as ‘bums’ and said he had not yet proved he was worthy of facing the WBC heavyweight world champion.
‘They’ve all got to face Wilder to get to the Gypsy King,’ he added. ‘If they think they’re going to tread low and then get paid multi millions when they don’t deserve it… at the end of the day, [Joshua] had an easy ride getting the belts. Let him earn his stripes to get to the Gypsy King. They’re going to have to line up and do something big. Tyson went to everyone’s back yard to get them titles.
Fury was in talks to face Joshua last year before talks collapsed after AJ missed his deadline
Fury Snr said Joshua could not expect to fight his rival Tyson after facing ‘a few bums’
‘If Joshua beats Wilder, that fight can be made in 30 seconds. If AJ is good enough, let him beat Wilder and that makes this fight mega big. But at the moment it’s dead in the water because he doesn’t deserve it. He can’t face a few bums and face the Gypsy King, can he? I know the public want to see it but let him earn it.’
Fury Snr insisted Tyson would have no regrets if he never managed to face Joshua – despite the demand from the fans – because he had fought better fighters, and claimed that his son believes he could ‘do AJ with one hand’.
‘He’s beaten better men,’ he added. ‘Deontay Wilder is ten times better. If it wasn’t for the big ‘GK’, Wilder would be champion for the next ten years. Why [have regrets]?
‘Tyson has proven he reigns supreme because the others can’t hold his jockstrap. A novice [Daniel Dubois] flattened Usyk the other day. I understand boxing because it’s my life. The people that look from the outside in don’t understand. At the moment, Tyson thinks he can do AJ with one hand. He probably could.
‘Everybody jumps on anybody who puts a pair of gloves on to beat Tyson. If Tyson was boxing a pensioner, they’d build him up to think he could beat Tyson. It’s irritating for me to compare the second raters.
‘I like AJ. He’s not a bad kid. I’ve never spoken ill of him but he knows what I’m talking about. Let him do something big and that means facing the big DW. Everyone has avoided him because he has the power and puts lights out. He can’t get a living now because he’s too dangerous.’
He claimed many fighters avoided Wilder because they feared his devastating power
Fury Snr said his son believes he could ‘do Joshua with one hand’ after the WBC world champion insisted he was ‘not interested’ in a fight
Last month Tyson Fury himself also downplayed the prospect of facing Joshua in his career, calling his rival a ‘big bum dosser’ and and claiming he had no interest in fighting him.
‘He’s a bum in my opinion. He’s just one big bum-dosser that has been knocked out three times.
‘He’s been knocked out twice and had three losses. He can’t even compare in my league anymore. It’s not even a fight I am thinking about anymore. I’m not even interested.
‘That bubble has been burst. His virginity has been taken away so it’s not interesting for me anymore. He’s been spanked by Usyk twice and been beaten by a fat man. So it’s not in my interest to beat him.
‘I am fighting a guy who is in his prime, who is a champion, who is bigger than him, who is stronger than him and who is a bigger knockout puncher than him.
‘He needs to get to the back of the queue. That fight is gone, it’s dead. That fight was off the cards as soon as he got beaten.’