Anthony Joshua said a Battle of Britain bout against Tyson Fury is what “the boxing world needs” after he survived his “do-or-die” clash with Jermaine Franklin.
Joshua recorded his first victory since 2020 with a unanimous points decision success over American heavyweight Franklin at the O2 Arena last night.
The victory for the former Olympic Champion comes off the back of successive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
The judges scored 118-111, 117-111 and 117-111 in favour of Joshua, who regularly landed his left jab and connected with several thunderous right punches without pushing Franklin to the point of no return.
So what next for the two-time world heavyweight champion?
In an interview after the fight, Joshua said he had his sites set on a fight with Tyson Fury.
He said: “Dillian Whyte or Tyson Fury? Well, 100 per cent Tyson Fury,” said Joshua,
“That is the pot of gold. That is the WBC heavyweight champion of the world. That’s what it is all about, so definitely Tyson Fury.
“Yeah (another warm-up fight) would be ideal, after that long lay-off, to get active.
“But sometimes an opportunity presents itself and you have to grab it with both hands.
“In that sense, if the opportunity presented itself and coach and team agree it is a good opportunity, I would take it and grab it with both hands, 100 per cent.
“The boxing world needs it.”
Even though this was the first time in 13 fights where no world titles were on the line for Joshua, he insisted his passion for the sport remained high, with Fury top of his list for future opponents.
He said: “Do or die? That’s a great experience to compete in front of 20,000 people.
“There’s no pressure. Honestly, it is a blessing.
“When I look out of that ring after a fight, I am like, ‘S*** that is nuts. Look at all them people’. It is humbling.
“I am definitely passionate about the game, 100 per cent, for so many reasons. The list is long and I am committed until it’s done.
“The reality I am living is we are still chasing something. Yeah, I’m still chasing the dream.”