Anthony Joshua says he would consider stepping aside to let Oleksandr Usyk fight the unified heavyweight world champion, Tyson Fury.
Joshua will fight Usyk for a second time next spring after losing his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts on a unanimous points decision in front of a sell-out crowd at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.
However, Fury has called for his fellow countryman to step aside to allow an undisputed heavyweight title fight to take place between himself and Usyk.
Anthony Joshua says he would consider stepping aside to let Oleksandr Usyk fight Tyson Fury
Joshua is adamant on getting his revenge – having told his promoter Eddie Hearn to thrash out terms with Usyk. However, he has admitted he would be open to stepping aside if it made sense financially.
Speaking to iFL, Joshua said: ‘I think people know not to approach me with that rubbish. People know not to approach me with that bulls***.
‘It may have come to my team but I think they know not to bring to me at the minute.
Joshua will fight Usyk for a second time next year after losing his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts
Fury called for Joshua to step aside to allow an undisputed heavyweight title fight to take place
‘At this stage of my career it’s not about the money, it’s about the respect. You’ve got to look at what I want out of this game; number one is respect, you don’t have to like me but you will respect me.
‘The second is to go down as a throwback fighter, someone who was willing to fight the best in their division so that when I walk the streets with my son, my cousin and my nephews, people will know I’m a real fighter.
‘In terms of stepping aside, I don’t know if that goes in line with what a morally stand for… but I want to be known as one of the smartest businessmen as well.
‘I want to make the smart decisions and if the money is right we would have to look at it but respect has more value than money.
‘Will I take the step-aside money? If its a smart business move… will it affect my reputation and respect? Will I still get to fight the best fighters? Those are the three things I have to consider.’
Joshua is adamant on getting his revenge, having told his Eddie Hearn to thrash out terms
The Gypsy King said if AJ lost to Usyk again, their future bout would be ‘dead in the water’
Fury – who is campaigning to face Usyk for all four belts – shared his opinion on the situation last week. He said: ‘I’d prefer him [AJ] to just let me fight [Usyk].
‘Because if Joshua goes in again and loses, which I think he will, that fight’s dead in the water for me.
‘Because, you don’t lose two fights and then go into a massive heavyweight title fight.
‘But if he lets me fight Usyk and I batter Usyk, then I’d come back and fight Joshua, batter him as well. Then, I can just f*** off and they can all fight for the belts. I’d retire.’