London - Anthony Joshua has refused to rule out the prospect
of a world heavyweight title clash with British rival Tyson Fury despite the
former champion's travails.
Fury has not fought since beating Wladimir Klitschko to win
the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in December 2015 after being handed a drugs ban and
then being stripped of his licence by the British Boxing Board of Control
Earlier this month, the 29-year-old Fury said he would not
reapply to the BBBoC for the right to fight again, further reducing the chances
of a return.
But Joshua, who defends his IBF and WBA titles against late
replacement Carlos Takam in Cardiff on Saturday, has left the door open to a
fight with Fury.
"What was his (Fury's) fighting weight - 18 stone (114
kilograms)? Even if he comes back at 22 stone, (George) Foreman came back
bigger when he was in his prime," Joshua said.
"If he wants to fight and gets his licence at 30 or 40
stone - if he wants to get in the ring and he shows he can move about and
control that weight, people will watch him.
"But if he comes back at that weight and he's getting
into trouble against journeymen, then people won't be interested. So it's how
he performs at his new weight."
Joshua is aiming to unify the heavyweight titles.
A fight with WBO champion Joseph Parker - who beat Fury's
cousin Hughie in Manchester last month - is set for early next year, as well as
a WBA mandatory bout before a prospective clash with reigning WBC king Deontay
Joshua shook up the sport with the manner of his win over
Klitschko and his promoter Eddie Hearn stressed his charge would not accept
unreasonable demands for the sake of unifying the belts.
Hearn said: "We wouldn't be held to ransom for a belt.
(Kubrat) Pulev or Takam are fine for his defence of the title after Klitschko,
but if it was someone like (Fres) Oquendo, we could say, 'no-one wants to watch
"The aim is to fight three times next year - ideally in
March, April or summer then December. In a perfect world, two of the three
fights would be for the additional belts - in any order."