Former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has branded divisional rivals Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury ‘irrelevant’ to his immediate future.
Preparing to face Andy Ruiz Jr. in a high-profile rematch this December in Saudi Arabia, Joshua went on a media offensive recently.
Speaking to Sky Sports for an ‘Untold Truth’ special, Joshua described how he’s been frozen out of the top picture by Wilder and Fury.
The pair are set to fight for a second time in 2020 on the back of an enthralling contest at the back end of 2018.
Joshua says the fact Wilder and Fury have arranged warm-up bouts against Luis Ortiz and Otto Wallin before once again trading blows means he can focus his efforts elsewhere.
“I’ve got something to fight for now,” Joshua said to Anna Woolhouse. “The guys I wanted to fight are tying themselves up for a year-and-a-half.
“They froze me out. Wilder has [agreed] his next fight with Ortiz, his next fight with Fury.
“We take on the best competitors in the division every time. We take challenges, and Ruiz Jr was the best of the crop that was available to me.
“Manuel Charr, Michael Hunter? How can I fight someone like Charr? I wanted the best, and Ruiz Jr was the best. If you want to win every fight, don’t step into battle.
“All eyes on Ruiz Jr. Nobody can talk to me about Wilder or Fury – that is irrelevant,” he added.
The 29 year-old is hell-bent on regaining his status as the world’s most decorated boxer in the glamour division. Joshua says he possesses a new-found ambition following his shock loss to Ruiz.
Down four times in the contest, Joshua has much to prove and can sit alongside legends by becoming a two-time heavyweight ruler.
Joining the likes of Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman and Lennox Lewis would be quite and achievement for AJ.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist is thankful to his forthcoming opponent for stepping up to the plate.
“I give people the opportunity to fight in front of the biggest crowd, the biggest global audience, get the most publicity, earn the highest purse, and to become champion. They turn it down.
“Credit to Ruiz Jr,” Joshua concluded.