Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua expects Tyson Fury to return to boxing despite retirement claim

Joshua expects Fury to retire if the right fight is presented to him providing he is keeping "ticking over", with the British heavyweight hoping his rivalry will honour their gentleman's agreement and make a fight if he beats Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua believes Tyson Fury will make a return to boxing if a huge fight is presented to him despite claiming he has now retired from the sport.

Fury recently defeated Dillian Whyte in a record-breaking contest at Wembley Stadium before confirming the outing would be his final fight in the ring. If he opts to retire and vacate his belt, Fury could miss out on a shot at the undisputed heavyweight titles against the winner of Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk later this year.

Joshua believes he can use the bigger picture of an undisputed title clash against Fury to help him “steamroll” Usyk and regain his unified crown. “If Fury would honour the boxers agreement and come out of retirement because ultimately what is at my core it is about the money,” Joshua said during a Q&A with the Oxford Union. “If Fury will come out and honour the gentleman’s agreement there is a lot of money to be made.

“The money could help a lot of people as well. Firstly I have a tough pound-for-pound fighter on my list in Usyk who is a tough competitor for sure. Also I want to look at the bigger picture holds so I can steamroll through what I have to do to look at the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

“I feel retirement doesn’t mean you have completely given up and you are on the beach clicking your toes and drinking a bottle of Corona. I feel he is still ticking over and I think he will come back if the right fight is presented to him.”

Joshua was set to meet Fury last year with contracts signed for a lucrative fight worth around £100 million. However Fury was forced to step away from the domestic fight to stage a trilogy with Deontay Wilder after a court arbitration ruling. Joshua had to instead resort to defending his titles against Usyk who put in a superb display to snatch them away in London.

Tyson Fury knocked out Dillian Whyte last month

Fans are yet to be convinced by Fury’s retirement message, with the ‘Gypsy King’ already training with his father on holiday as rumours of a future ‘comeback’ already gather pace. The WBC champion has already backtracked on his claim confirming he will be open to returning in an exhibition format against UFC champion Francis Ngannou.

Fury’s father John believes Joshua can overturn his defeat Usyk and has admitted “wild horses” would not keep Fury in retirement if a fight is available. In his case, he just had the wrong plan from the off, didn’t he?,” Fury Sr told IFL TV.

“If he changes his plan around and uses what he’s got to his benefit, I don’t see a problem. I hope he does beat Usyk, I really do, I’m rooting for him. I’d be sick if Usyk won. Nothing against Usyk, he’s a great guy but my heart lies with the Watford man. If AJ can win, wild horses couldn’t keep Tyson in retirement.”

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