Anthony Joshua mocks Tyson Fury's record and career progression

Anthony Joshua claims Tyson Fury only has two good wins in his professional career and has questioned why it has taken the Gypsy King so long to reach the pinnacle of heavyweight boxing.

Joshua and Fury are expected to fight at least once in 2021, with AJ bringing his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world titles and Fury adding his WBC strap to a mouth-watering heavyweight unification scrap.

There are obstacles to overcome before that, with Fury facing a third fight with Deontay Wilder and Joshua due to meet Kubrat Pulev in December, but the build-up to the all-British bout has begun in earnest.

Joshua has questioned why Fury only won a world title five months before he did, despite turning professional five years earlier.

AJ, 30, also reckons that Fury, 32, has only racked up two good wins in his career – when he out-pointed Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 and when he stopped Deontay Wilder earlier this year.

‘Remember, he was a heavyweight well before my time,’ Joshua told Sky Sports. ‘He turned professional in 2008. That was the year I had my first amateur fight!

‘I never thought I would catch up to Fury. He was never someone that was on my radar. So I’ve never known Tyson until I turned professional and started barking at the heels of these heavyweights who were docile.

‘I started bringing some heat. Now they became relevant in my life. My relationship with Tyson is only because I progressed as quickly as I did, and he didn’t progress as quickly.

‘He’s had two good wins – against Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko.

‘Over a long period of time, a career that has spanned 12 years, I would have liked to have seen him in some more challenging competitions.

‘But he knows what is right for him, and I know what is right for me. As a fighter he has done what he needs to do to be in the position he is in today, so good luck to him.’

Fury did not represent Great Britain at the Olympics and therefore turned professional with much less fanfare than Joshua and went through a slower start to his pro career as a result.

The Gypsy King also missed nearly three years of action from 2015-18 as he dealt with mental health issues and went through significant weight gain, suffering drug and alcohol problems.

Had Fury not gone through that challenging time after beating Klitschko in November 2015, and becoming world champion for the first time, he would certainly have fought more high profile bouts before he returned to beat Sefer Seferi in June 2018.

All roads appear to be leading to the long-awaited Fury vs Joshua showdown, though, with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confident of two meetings next year.

‘I’m very sure you’re going to see two versions of that fight in 2021,’ Hearn told Sky Sports. ‘I think we’re on the verge now of papering that deal with (Fury’s US-based promoter) Bob Arum. We haven’t done it yet, but all the conversations are positive.’

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