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Tyson Fury has called for an Anthony Joshua fight in early 2021 and begged his fellow Brit not to face a mandatory challenger - a boxer who he feels would beat AJ right now.
Joshua's goal is to become undisputed heavyweight champion, but Fury has no time for that aim. In an interview with Behind the Gloves, the man with the WBC belt said: "All this undisputed bulls**t, I'm not really too convinced about it.
"I've won every belt there is to win and having another stack of belts that I already own don't really mean s**t to me.
"Rather than fight all these mandatories that he's got, I'd say just vacate those belts and fight the fight that everybody wants to see. I ain't running from you, I don't care about you, I'll go through you like a hot knife through butter."
However Fury admits that part of his motivation for wanting Joshua to skip his mandatory challengers is his belief that one of them - unbeaten Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk - can defeat AJ before Fury can get to him.
"No disrespect to Oleksandr Usyk, great fighter, cruiserweight world champion - probably going to be a heavyweight champion if he fights Joshua in the meantime," said Fury. "But listen: don't take my retirement cheque baby, don't do it!
"I said to Wilder years ago: 'Don't take my retirement fund, do not fight Joshua, he's mine. He's my countryman, I'm having him, I'm breaking him in.' But it didn't happen, he got broken in by an unlikely suspect [Andy Ruiz Jr]."
"Yeah, [Usyk would beat Joshua] if they fight. But I bet they don't because why would he fight Usyk and get paid like 10% of what he can make off the Gypsy King?
"Forget the belt, vacate it, let them boys fight for the vacant belt whoever it is, and then come up and fight big time."
All three heavyweights supposedly have bouts to get through first: Joshua against Kubrat Pulev, Usyk versus Dereck Chisora, Fury in a third fight with Deontay Wilder.
However if Usyk beats Chisora as most people expect him to, the former undisputed cruiserweight champ would be able to press his mandatory claim via the WBO title owned by Joshua.
Some will see Fury's latest comments as simply a way of getting inside AJ's head. But he would not be alone in tipping Usyk to potentially spring an upset on Joshua.
The 33-year-old is widely viewed as one of the most skilled pound-for-pound boxers in the sport and one of the greatest cruiserweights ever. The big question is just whether a boxer who looked comfortable at 200lb would be effective against heavyweight giants such as Joshua or Fury - but at 6ft 3in, Usyk is at least taller than the likes of Ruiz Jr, who broke AJ's unbeaten record.
If Fury, Usyk and Joshua all fight and win later in 2020, AJ could well have a choice to make: go straight for a super-fight with Fury or defend his alphabet belts by taking on Usyk. It seems pretty clear which direction Fury - and almost all boxing fans - would want Joshua to go in.
All imagery: PA Images
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