As he considers his next move in the heavyweight category, Anthony Joshua has acknowledged that he is “out of the championship title race.”
When “AJ” last competed in August, he lost by decision to Oleksandr Usyk for the second time in a row and was unable to win back the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO championships.
Tyson Fury then offered Joshua a shot at the WBC title, but the Britons were unable to reach a deal over what would have been the most significant heavyweight match in recent memory. Instead, Fury fought Derek Chisora a third time, defeating his countryman by TKO to maintain his perfect record.
Joshua, 33, and Dillian Whyte, whom AJ lost to as an amateur but eliminated in a professional battle in 2015, have been mentioned as prospective opponents in a rematch.
“I like to see my name constantly mentioned among other fighters,” Joshua told The Sun this week. “The opportunities are always there for me, there are big opportunities to fight.
“I’ll fight whoever’s ready; I’m ready and we’ll get cracking in the new year. I want to be consistent, be fit to fight, and everything comes off the back of that.
“I’m dying for the world championship, 100 per cent. That’s all my heart and soul is leading towards, [but] I lost a fight this year which took me out of the championship title race.
“When you’re constantly fighting for championships after championships, you’re constantly in the race for a long time. When I lost, I was finally out of the race, and overcoming that was a new beginning […] realising that this isn’t my norm anymore. It’s challenging to overcome that.
“I’ve always been a competitor, a challenge to me is just another obstacle that I can get over, and for some, I feel like it’s easier to knock them down and keep them down.”
Joshua’s defeat by Usyk in August was his second straight loss to the unbeaten Ukrainian, who outpointed the Briton in September 2021 to win the unified heavyweight titles.