Anthony Joshua joined the UK boxing masses in questioning rival David Haye’s recent triumphs but says a scheduled fight with Shannon Briggs could be a step in the right direction.
The 26 year-old is preparing to defend his IBF heavyweight title for the first time on Saturday night against Dominic Breazeale and hopes to move closer to domestic clashes with both Haye and Tyson Fury.
Haye, 35, has been highly vocal with his desires to trade blows with Joshua, although ‘AJ’ believes his compatriot needs to step up his opposition following early knockout victories over Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj.
“David is running the show and people know it, so when he goes in against soft opponents, he’s putting his neck on the line to get the stick,” said Joshua.
“Fans expect more from him and he’s not meeting those levels, and that’s where the backlash comes from. The people he’s calling out versus the two guys he has fought, they just don’t add up, and that’s what people are frustrated about.”
On a September battle with aging former WBO champion Briggs, Joshua added: “I don’t think you can knock the Shannon Briggs fight. He’s made a lot of noise, he’s old school and it’s a good fight for David to take, win and move upwards.
“Shannon had made noise and he’s got his moment and who knows? Maybe he can shock the world. He’s old, but he trains hard and he’s in great condition, and that’s why people love the heavyweights because it’s that one shot.
“A fight with Fury and I is the biggest fight in British boxing in my opinion. The Haye fight is big too; there’s enough media interest for it to be big.
“It’s already big and we’re not even fighting yet, so imagine how big it would be once we get in there. It’d be unbelievable and that’s why I am so interested in the fights.”