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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Davies

Anthony Joshua sends half-hearted message to Tyson Fury amid fight rumours

Anthony Joshua has remained coy on Tyson Fury's recent undisputed fight collapse against Oleksandr Usyk.

The 'Gypsy King' looked set to do battle with the Ukrainian champion for the undisputed titles to crown the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999. But in devastating fashion, the fight collapsed at the final hurdle with Usyk walking away from the negotiating table after being left frustrated by the WBC champion's public demands.

Joshua has had his share of heartche from fight collapses including missing out twice on the opportunity to face Fury, including last year after he failed to meet the champion's public deadlines. However he has managed to step in the ring with Usyk twice who beat him on both occasions and took his unified crown away.

However the British star has refused to be drawn into the row insisting focus must first remain on his upcoming bout against American contender Jermaine Franklin at the O2 arena on Saturday night. "Not really I hope he is alright, that is all really I don't really have much to say right now," Joshua told reporters when asked about the fight collapse.

"I know we are doing the media but I am in fight mode and I am just focused on my stuff. I am just happy that Eddie Hearn has got the blame for something that doesn't involve him. Eddie always gets the blame and I do so I'm just happy he isn't getting the blame. Being a champion is not easy at all.

"Look at Usyk now he hasn't even got a fight date. I was the last guy he fought and I'm fighting on Saturday. He is a champion, he should have been out twice by now. Being a champion should mean you are busy and you are out fighting and active, but it is a f***ing headache. I blame both of them."

Anthony Joshua could fight Tyson Fury this year (Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo/REX/Shutterstock)

Do you think Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury should fight next? Let us know in the comments section below

It remains unclear what could be next for both Fury and Usyk, particularly for the 'Gypsy King' who now faces an uncertain future with no mandatory opponent selected. Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has even suggested that negotiations could be revived for the former two-time champion to finally step in the ring with Fury.

And he has even suggested that contracts could begin to be exchanged next week if Joshua progresses beyond Franklin without any upset. “I have had talks this week with George Warren and fundamentally the original contract is still in place and we all know that the timing is perfect now, as it happens because of the circumstances with Usyk," Hearn told Daily Mail.

"This is the very last chance for this huge fight to happen. I expect to be exchanging pilot contracts with Queensberry soon. Maybe as early as next week. AJ knows there’s a big opportunity. At last. So much at stake now, but he also has his total focus on Franklin.”

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