Anthony Joshua vows to ‘stand as a champion’ and ‘get back’ any world heavyweight title he is forced to vacate

4 Jan

Anthony Joshua says he will ‘stand as a champion’ if he is forced to vacate a world heavyweight title.

He also promised fans that he if that does happen then he will ‘get it back again’.

Joshua was the WBA, WBO and IBF titles but could lose one of them before his next fight even happens
Getty Images – Getty

The Watford-born fighter regained his WBA, IBF AND WBO belts with a points victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch last month after the Mexican-American surprisingly beat him in June 2019.

Joshua has already been ordered to make title defences against Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk, his IBF and WBO mandatory challengers.

With both the IBF and WBO attempting to enforce fights, promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to find an agreement that would allow ‘AJ’ to fulfil both title obligations.

It’s a situation that has frustrated Hearn but Joshua is relaxed about his next career move after avenging the only defeat of his career.

Joshua is pretty relaxed by the situation, however
Getty Images – Getty

“I always said the belts do not represent me,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “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 said in December they were hoping to reach a resolution for Pulev to receive the first title fight with Joshua, while Usyk has been offered an alternative fight against Dereck Chisora in early 2020.

Whoever his next opponent is, Joshua is expected to return in April or May, with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium understood to being considered as the venue.

“Tottenham is a nice new stadium for a UK fight, we’ve got to look at it,” Hearn said.

“There are a lot of options internationally but he does want to box back in the UK.

“We spoke to Spurs about hosting this fight [Ruiz Jr rematch], which they were keen to do, but unfortunately the dates didn’t work out.

“They would be keen to do it and it would be a nice stadium to do it in London.”

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