Anthony Joshua has recognized Tyson Fury’s position as the lineal heavyweight champion on a recent appearance on US TV.
Addressing the situation regarding a possible April 13 fight with Deontay Wilder or Fury himself, Joshua questioned why the honor is now such a big deal.
Since Fury made his comeback, and did so well in a draw with Wilder, the lineal crown is back in play after sitting dormant for 31 months.
Previously in possession of former AJ opponent Wladimir Klitschko, Fury took the title in November 2015.
Talk of the crown being on the line for Joshua v Joseph Parker had been bandied about, although the musing never came to fruition.
That left Fury as the man to relight the long-standing championship, which began back in 1885 with John L. Sullivan.
Despite already being unified, Joshua said if he has to be the man who beats ‘the man’ – he’s willing to do so in 2019.
“When I was joining the heavyweight ranks, nobody told me about lineal champion,” Joshua told Max Kellerman on First Take
“I knew about the WBC, IBO, IBF, WBA and WBO. And I’ve got my hands on four of them. So where has lineal popped up out of the woodwork from?
“But if I’ve got to get my hands on that too. And that’s the belt the world’s interested in, Fury can step in if he’s serious.
“That’s where I’m coming from, I want to fight the champions. I’m the one leading the pack, I’ve been doing that since I made my debut.
“Five years in, seven world title defences and I’m running the game. I mean business. I don’t know what more I have to do to get that message across to the world,” he added.
Considering promoter Eddie Hearn labelled Fury’s ‘lineal’ status ‘fictional’ earlier this week, it’s a big step forward for Joshua to even acknowledge it.
Whatever the argument over ‘lineal’ or not, fans want Joshua in the mix to face the winner of Wilder v Fury 2. That way, one sole champion could be crowned within the next twelve months.
The initial Wilder v Fury fight was a huge step to finding out who is the greatest of the modern era. It could now be just two fights until an undisputed #1 is revealed.