AJ opens up on a potential battle with long-time rival Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua gives his verdict on a potential blockbuster fight with Tyson Fury, should they meet in the ring… as Louis Theroux probes him on his personal relationship with Gypsy King

  • Anthony Joshua opens up on his relationship with old rival Tyson Fury
  • Louis Theroux probes Joshua on a potential showdown with the Gypsy King
  • How do you get the biggest fight for an ailing AJ without huge risk? The Hook!

Anthony Joshua believes he can beat Tyson Fury should the two ever meet in a blockbuster showdown – but admits he would be the underdog.

In an interview with Louis Theroux, Joshua opens up on his personal life, his struggles and a potential meeting with his long-time rival the Gypsy King.

A heavyweight showdown between WBC champion Fury and Joshua has always been touted as one of the biggest fights in boxing history but after years of will-they-won’t-they, a meeting has never materialised.

Now, with the fight once again being touted as a possibility for the near future, Joshua has given his opinion on how things could go down. 

When Theroux asks how he’d feel if he beat Fury, Joshua responds: ‘I’d be over the moon.’

Anthony Joshua (left) has opened up on his relationship with old rival Tyson Fury (right)

Louis Theroux (right) has probed Joshua on a potential showdown with the Gypsy King

‘Would you?’ Theroux probes. ‘Yeah, of course,’ Joshua says without hesitation.

After a momentary pause, Theroux delves deeper into their personal relationship outside the ring.

‘Are you friendly with him?’ Theroux asks. ‘No, not really, but I respect what’s he done [in boxing]’ Joshua says.

Theroux, known for his very dry sense of humour, then begins to wheel off several quotes Fury has made and aimed at Joshua – while mimicking the heavyweight champion – calling him a ‘dosser’, ‘a big body builder’, ‘a businessman’.

The two share a laugh, with Joshua jokingly asking if Theroux has ‘one of those pully-Tyson Fury dolls’ before asking if he likes the Gypsy King.

Getting back onto boxing matters, Theroux asks again if Joshua could beat his long-time foe.

Joshua (right) bumped into Fury (left) while enjoying their respective holidays in Spain in 2020

Joshua acknowledges that he would be the underdog in a potential meeting with Fury (right)

‘Yeah,’ Joshua says in a serious manner.

‘It wouldn’t be easy, though?’ Theroux responds. ‘No,’ Joshua answers.

Theroux claims that the bookies would favour Fury and wonders if Joshua thinks the same.

Joshua agrees, but responds: ‘It’s good. It gives me a bit more [oomph], you know? It’s a challenge – but one I’ll be up for.’

For now, Fury has hit sights set on facing Oleksandr Usyk – a man that has beaten Joshua twice, with the second defeat prompting an uncomfortable post-fight meltdown inside the ring, which Joshua blamed on ‘ego and pride’, with the former heavyweight world champion admitting he is no longer boxing for ‘fun’.

Joshua had hoped to regain his heavyweight titles in a rematch against Usyk last August, following his defeat to the Ukrainian in 2021. 

Joshua reflected on the aftermath of his second loss to Oleksandr Usyk last year

Joshua told Louis Theroux he threw Usyk’s belts out of the ring due to his ‘ego and pride’

The British fighter lost on split decision as Usyk retained the titles in Saudi Arabia.

In the aftermath of the defeat, Joshua threw two of Usyk’s belts out of the ring and onto the floor and headed for his changing room before storming back to shake Usyk’s hand.

He then picked up the microphone and went on an expletive-filled rant, discussing the fight, his career, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and also led cheers to Usyk.

Joshua said his reaction was based on ‘ego and pride’, as he claimed to have brought the heavyweight division back.

‘It was like these don’t even mean anything anyway,’ Joshua said when discussing his motivation for throwing the belts.

‘I haven’t got them and as I haven’t got them, they don’t mean anything.

‘That was ego and pride coming out, I brought this heavyweight division back, that was in me.

‘Right or wrong.’

Theroux interjected ‘Probably wrong, probably wrong I think, I don’t think anyone said it was the right thing to do.’

The former heavyweight world champion admits he could have handled the aftermath better

Joshua had given a bizarre post-fight interview in the ring following his second loss to Usyk

Joshua admitted that he could have handled the defeat better, but said he was ‘frustrated and annoyed’ after the back-to-back losses to Usyk.

AJ’s post-fight interview ranked among boxing’s most bizarre, as he referenced his youth and troubles with police as a teenager while reflecting on his career. 

‘If you knew my story you would understand the passion. I ain’t no amateur boxer from five-years-old that was an elite prospect from youth,’ Joshua said in the ring.

‘I was going to jail, I got bail and I started training my a*** off, I wanted to be able to fight.

‘I’m stealing this Usyk I’m sorry, but it’s because of the passion we put into this. This guy to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the level of hard work I put in so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.’

‘I’m not a 12 round fighter, look at me, I’m a new breed of heavyweights, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, “you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano”, I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy, it’s hard work.

‘This guy here is a phenomenal talent, we’re going to cheer for him three times’.

Joshua also broke down in tears during his post-fight press conference in Saudi Arabia.

The 34-year-old admitted to Theroux that has been impacted by the pressure on him and is no longer boxing for fun. 

The British star also broken down in tears during his press conference following the defeat

‘I knew I was out of the title race and the questions started, “What is he like, where is his head at”, all this “can he be three-time champion of the world”,’ Joshua said.

‘People now create this narrative and put pressure on me, it’s too much.

‘Gone are the days when it was for the fun, when you are just doing it for the passion and you are a prospect.’

The two-time heavyweight world champion has bounced back from his losses to Usyk by beating Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius this year.

Joshua has been linked with potential fights against Agit Kabayel, Filip Hrgovic and Otto Wallin.

Francis Ngannou has emerged as a possible opponent after the MMA star’s impressive boxing debut against Tyson Fury.

Away from the ring, Joshua opened up on personal matters, including how he still lives with his mum at the age of 34 and that any future partner would struggle to convince him to move out.

Joshua, who moved back into his mother’s two bedroom ex-council flat in 2017 after earning an estimated £15million from defeating Wladimir Klitschko, beat Robert Helenius in August and is on the hunt for his next fight ahead of 2024.

Discussing his close relationship with his family with Theroux, Joshua warned future girlfriends they’ll need to compete with his mum, Yeta Odusanya.

Anthony Joshua has revealed why he still lives with his mother Yeta Odusanya at the age of 34

The two-time world heavyweight champion beat Robert Helenius at The O2 Arena in August

Joshua attended the US Grand Prix last month as he continues to search for his next big fight

‘I still live with my mum,’ the two-time world champion said. ‘In our culture, we grew up in our own family home, we support our parents. 

‘Why am I going to move out and leave my mum by herself, for some girl? Family is the most important thing. 

‘When a girl gets with me, she ain’t just marrying me, she’s marrying my family.’

The grounded boxing star, who is not publicly in a relationship, admitted that he likes to keep his personal life private as he cannot live up to the expectations people have of him.

He continued: ‘Are we going to dissect everything I say and use it as a narrative to create a story? That’s why I keep myself to myself.

‘You put all this pressure on yourself to come and be this big star and be perfect.

‘I’m telling you, they’ll pull you down. The higher you are, the bigger the drop.’

Joshua was previously in an on-off relationship with the mother of his child, former school friend Nicole Osbourne, whom he once bought a £500,000 flat not far from his home. 

The heavyweight star told popular presenter Laura Woods in April that she was his dream date

The fighter, 34, tends to keep his life notoriously private, aside from a few snaps on Instagram

In April, the heavyweight fighter called Laura Woods his ‘dream date’ in a flirty interview with the presenter after his comeback win over Jermaine Franklin.

Woods, who is now dating former Love Island star Adam Collard, asked Joshua what he thought of his career so far and the boxer replied: ‘I think it’s blossomed amazingly, just like you.’

The flirty exchange continued as Joshua joked that former Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek had ‘beaten him to it’ by naming Woods as his crush. 

Louis Theroux Interviews is on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer at 9pm tonight 

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