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Joshua determined to unify heavyweight division with or without Wilder


Britain’s Anthony Joshua trains during a pre-fight public work out press conference at York Hall, east London on September 19, 2018 ahead of his heavyweight boxing bout against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin set for September 22. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

Anthony Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles has given himself a 2019 timeline to unify boxing’s biggest division irrespective of what happens in the fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury on December 1.

The Joshua versus Wilder fight hugged the headlines for a better part of this year, but at the end the show did not hold. Instead, Wilder chose to fight Fury, while Joshua met with Alexander Povlokin.

While the world bodies are looking for potential contenders for Joshua’s title, the Nigerian, who fights for Britain, knows that there would always be doubts about his ability until he meets Wilder. And if Fury were to beat Wilder, then there would be no better opponent than the wild one.

Already, the IBF has cleared the way for Joshua to fight any opponent of his choice next year, ceding the right to determine the champion’s next fight to WBO. This paves the way for either Wilder or Dillian Whyte to step into the ring with the champion next year.

Joshua knows he needs to fight the winner of the Wilder versus Fury contest and has set his sights on doing just that Joshua, currently on holiday in Jamaica, posted pictures in his Instagram account showing that he has been training. The pictures were captioned: “Bigger and stronger! Knocking all top 10 fighters out one by one.”

Joshua’s next fight is set for Wembley Stadium on April 13 next year. But former world champion, Lennox Lewis has advised him to stop chasing the money and act like a true champion by fighting those that matter.

Lewis said: “Joshua can take his time. He’s champion now. He says he doesn’t want to fight Tyson Fury for a year or so.“He wants to go around making money. I think that’s going to be a downfall for him. He has to stay with it, he can’t be in the background.

“If he wants to be champion, he has to act like a champion.”That is the path many believe Joshua wants to go, beginning with the best of them all next year.

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