World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua remains in talks to fight Tyson Fury, as he previously was to face Deontay Wilder in 2018.
Without fighting either of his main rivals, the British bruiser made a contradictory statement this week by stating his career was coming to an end.
Joshua discussed when he might hang up his gloves as negotiations to face Fury next continue to drag on in the same ilk as Wilder.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist eluded that his storybook was on the verge of closing but then said it wouldn’t happen until 2026.
In the real world, that’s nowhere near ‘coming to an end.’ It’s half a decade and a long time.
But none-the-less, Joshua was adamant he would be stepping aside for the younger fighters.
“This isn’t the start of my career. I’m coming towards the end of my career,” Joshua told Sky Sports News.
“I’m not someone who lives in the moment. Not someone who thinks that everything is just like that for now.
“I’m always planning, so I’m coming towards the end of my career.
“Five years left, and that’s basically an Olympic cycle. I’ve got an Olympic cycle. A little bit more left.
“So when you see the next Olympics happen is when I’ll be coming to the end of my career, and the next generation will be coming through.”
If Joshua is going to be around well into the 2020s, that means he could have at least ten fights left in his locker. Hopefully, two of those will be against Tyson Fury.
Deontay Wilder is also still in the mix if he can get himself back in the win column. AJ firmly has unfinished business with the American.
As WBN has covered on many occasions, Joshua pulled out of facing Wilder despite the ‘Bronze Bomber’ agreeing to a cut-price deal.
Wilder was willing to meet Joshua in September 2018 or April 2019 in a British stadium. When the contract was on the verge of being signed, Joshua moved on to Alexander Povetkin.
Telling fans that the WBA had stipulated the Povetkin fight, realistically, Joshua could have asked for an exception.
If he had, Joshua vs. Wilder would have firmly been on for all the belts.
Three years on, the situation has come around again. Despite both sides saying they want the clash to happen next, dithering seems to be happening again.
Nobody is quite sure why the bout hasn’t been signed yet.
At first, a date in April was touted. That’s now become June and will soon be July, possibly in Saudi Arabia.
Fingers crossed, an undisputed unification goes ahead this time around.
The views expressed in this article are that of the Editor, Phil Jay. WBN celebrated its 10th Anniversary on August 1st, 2020, and is the top-visited independent boxing news website in the world.
Phil Jay is an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay