Anthony Joshua sends message to Tyson Fury after Jermaine Franklin win in new call-out
Anthony Joshua once again called on Tyson Fury to agree to a mammoth all-British heavyweight showdown after his victorious comeback against Jermaine Franklin.
The two-time unified world champion eased to a comfortable unanimous decision victory to potentially save his career at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night, crucially returning to winning ways after his consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn had both spoken of the elusive and long-awaited lucrative Fury bout in the build-up to facing Franklin, with ‘AJ’ even confidently claiming at one stage that the reigning WBC title-holder “needed him” after seeing protracted talks over an undisputed April clash with WBA, IBF and WBO champion Usyk break down recently due to an apparent dispute over the purse split of a potential rematch.
A massive bout between Joshua and Fury - which many believe remains arguably the biggest fight in world boxing today, certainly from a British perspective - has come close to being agreed countless times before after prolonged negotiations, with the last frustating collapse in talks occurring during the autumn.
Joshua’s failure to secure a coveted stoppage against a durable but limited opponent in Franklin despite bulking up to his career-heaviest weight under new trainer Derrick James will lead many to argue that he perhaps does not deserve to have a shot at Fury and the only major heavyweight belt to have eluded him just yet, though he still called on his great rival to come back to the table.
“The ball’s in his court,” he told DAZN. “I would 100 per cent be honoured to compete for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world.
“I stand here and say that proudly - it would be an honour. Wherever you are if you’re listening, you know my management, you know my promoter.
“We’ve had dialogue before, so let’s continue this and hopefully we can get this on sooner rather than later. We aren’t getting any younger, you know what I’m trying to say.
“I can’t wait to get back to Texas, develop and push on because there’s a bigger fight. You know how one fight leads onto another, I can’t wait to get the next big fight.”