Nigerian-born world heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Olaseni Oluwafemi Joshua has received another round of encomiums from his main rival and fellow-Briton, Tyson Fury, who confessed that he was impressed with the three-belt holder’s spirit of sportsman.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, while Joshua and Fury are bound to clash twice in the much-anticipated world title unification blockbusters next year, ‘The Gypsy King will not allow rivalry take away the awe he holds for the man who holds three belts, while he clings on to one.
Their clash is still months away, with a couple of mandatory bouts hanging between both of them, so Fury has taken time out to heap praises on Joshua, who he hailed for showing class and a sportsmanlike reaction to his loss to Andy Ruiz Jnr.
On the other hand, Fury took a verbal swipe at America’s Deontay Wilder, who he alleged did not accept defeat at his hands but reacted with pride and disdain, blaming the loss on his ring-walk outfit, a bicep injury and a disloyal trainer, while also making allegations about something fishy in the British pugilist’s gloves as reasons behind for his loss.
Joshua will first defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight belts against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at London’s O2 Arena on December 12, ahead of which Fury, who holds the World Boxing Council (WBC) equivalent says he admires his rival’s attitude.
Fury further told talkSPORT that he was impressed with how Joshua rebounded from losing to Ruiz to take revenge in a rematch, adding: “Very class. Listen, we are rivals and have been for a long time but I have to speak truthfully.
“He handled it like a man, he handled it very sportsmanlike, he took it in his stride. He knew he’d make a mistake. He didn’t say why, he didn’t make excuses, I didn’t hear any excuses. He just said: ‘Well done, see you next time’.
“I hope that I would conduct myself like that, as well, if it happened to me.We’ve seen it so much over the years – Wilder’s excuses, David Haye’s excuses, everybody who loses a fight for whatever reason they always say: ‘I had a bad foot, a bad shoulder.’
“Either don’t take the fight and have it postponed, or if you are going to take it, don’t mention it afterwards! Don’t take the glory from someone else’s victory. I take my hat off to AJ. That was class.
“Providing we both come through our next fights I would like to think that me and Joshua will finally get made, both on top of our careers, both world heavyweight champions, twice next year hopefully.”