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John Fury backs Anthony Joshua to become a three-time heavyweight champion after sharing a warm embrace with his son's rival ahead of his Saudi showdown with Francis Ngannou

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  • Anthony Joshua shared a warm embrace with John Fury over the weekend
  • Tyson Fury’s dad has predicted that Joshua will become world champion again
  • A win for Joshua against Francis Ngannou would put him in the title mix 

John Fury believes Anthony Joshua will rise to the top of the heavyweight division again and become a three-time world champion. 

The Brit is set to take on Francis Ngannou in a huge crossover fight on Friday night, and Fury Snr has arrived in Riyadh to watch the bout from ringside.

He bumped into Joshua on Sunday and the pair shared a warm embrace, despite Joshua being a rival of John’s son and the WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson.

John put rivalries aside as he hugged Joshua and shook his hand, and reflecting on that moment ahead of the grand arrivals for Friday’s fight, he heaped praise on the 2012 Olympic gold medallist.

‘I’ve always had time for Joshua. He’s a great fighter and he’s done a lot for boxing,’ Fury told Queensberry Promotions.

Anthony Joshua and John Fury shared a warm embrace over the weekend in Saudi Arabia

Anthony Joshua and John Fury shared a warm embrace over the weekend in Saudi Arabia

The pair were seen hugging and shaking hands out in Riyadh after touching down in the Middle East

The pair were seen hugging and shaking hands out in Riyadh after touching down in the Middle East

John has backed Joshua to become a world champion again, despite him being a rival of his son, Tyson

John has backed Joshua to become a world champion again, despite him being a rival of his son, Tyson

‘He will be world champion again. Respectful man, he was lovely and it was heartful. I’ve got nothing but admiration and respect for Joshua.’

Joshua looked back to his brutal best in his last outing as he stopped Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin in five rounds in December.

Joshua was on the front foot from the off, and was not afraid to trade with Wallin as he repeatedly hurt his opponent.

John doesn’t think he would be wise to go toe-to-toe with Ngannou, though. The former UFC heavyweight king demonstrated his power when taking on Tyson in October as he dropped the Gypsy King in the third round before losing on points.

Joshua must first get past Francis Ngannou on Friday, and John has urged Joshua to be 'careful'

Joshua must first get past Francis Ngannou on Friday, and John has urged Joshua to be ‘careful’

John has urged Joshua to use his superior boxing skills to stay out of harm’s way and keep his world title ambitions on track.

‘If he boxes properly, keeps his head, sticks to a gameplan, he’ll win on points,’ John predicted.

‘If he mixes it with a big puncher, Ngannou’s a unit, he’s had Tyson on the floor. Tyson said he can really bang, probably the hardest [puncher] he’s been in with, including Deontay Wilder – he’s got to be careful.

‘But AJ has got the skillset, he’s got the power himself, and who knows? He has this effect on fighters where they just melt in front of him. Don’t rule [out] an AJ knockout either. But it’s going to be AJ on points I think because Ngannou’s a strong man and he’s super fit.’