Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury: AJ willing to take pay cut to get fight on at Wembley

Matt Majendie
·3 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua is keen to get his title reunification fight against Tyson Fury on in London, even if it means taking a pay cut.

Joshua returns to the ring next week against Kubrat Pulev, and victory would pave the way for a double-header which has already been agreed against the Gypsy King.

But the Londoner is keen for the all-British clash to take place at Wembley next year after taking on Pulev in front of just 1,000 fans at Wembley’s neighbouring SSE Arena on Saturday night.

“Yeah, why not?” he said when asked if he was willing to take a pay cut for Joshua-Fury to take place on British soil. “Now, I’m fighting Kubrat Pulev for a massive pay cut. We have to keep the sport alive. We are all doing our part at the minute.

“It’s all experience, we are doing it now so I wouldn’t mind doing it again. It’s not harming me, and it’s for a bigger cause as well, it’s a massive cause and a big fight but the main objective is how do we get Fury in the ring.”

Joshua and Fury have already agreed to a 50-50 split over their double header in 2021, with at least one fight likely to take place in the Middle East, potentially with both men returning to Saudi Arabia.

But asked if he would push for Wembley, Joshua said: “The main objective is getting this fight done. There is definitely the element that the fans are the most important thing and getting them together to watch a British classic. What finances can we gather to get Fury in the ring? It’s a tough one but I would definitely go for the fans this time around, for sure.”

Joshua is fighting for the first time since regaining his world titles against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last year, with the 1,000 through the turnstiles for the night a figure the Londoner has not witnessed since his amateur days back in February 2012.

Getty Images
Getty Images

“The last time I would have fought in front of a small crowd I think it was in Hungary,” he recalled. “It was against Sergey Kuzmin and someone from Uzbekistan, a big guy [Sardor Abdullaev].

“It was quite decent, you know. It is not bad. The pressure is off, you can get in your rhythm. And I think I need that sometimes. This year has been good to unload a lot of pressure and fighting in front of 1,000 fans is not so bad.

“It’s going to be intimate, it’s going to be closed circuit. You won’t have to worry about your missus having a pint of beer chucked on her head or 15 guys by the side of you getting into a fight!”

Joshua is expected to fight Fury within six months of his Pulev encounter if victorious, while Fury’s next fight, initially planned for this Saturday, has been scrapped and he is looking for another opponent in February.

Fury made the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award on Tuesday and on Wednesday asked to be removed, a request which was rejected by the BBC.

Of Fury’s snub, Joshua said: “That’s his decision if he doesn’t want to do it. It’s a nice honour, even if you don’t win it, it’s nice anyway. But each to their own.”

Joshua made the shortlist in 2017 but lost out to Mo Farah. Of that, he said: “I didn’t win. I had loads of champagne ready to pop on the way back. I was drinking Ribena and Sprite. I went back a loser! But it’s nice to be recognised even if you don’t win.”

Book and watch Anthony Joshua against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office

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