London (AFP)

Anthony Joshua claimed on Monday that he absolutely had to fight Tyson Fury before his career was over as boxing as a whole needed at least one fight between the two British heavyweights.

“Do I need Tyson Fury on my charts? I need it,” Joshua said during a BBC podcast.

"We need it for boxing. This is what we need. This is what I need. Come on, let's see how good I am," he added.

Between them, Joshua and Fury currently hold all the major world titles in their category.

Negotiations for a unification "supercombat" looked set to be concluded earlier this year until arbitration in the United States forced Fury to face Deontay Wilder for a third time.

He will therefore have to fight against Wilder to defend his WBC title in Las Vegas next month.

Prior to that, Joshua will stake his WBA, IBF and WBO world belts against Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 in London.

But boxing fans are waiting for a fight against the "Gypsy King," Joshua assures us.

“Fighting good boxers brings out the best in you. Training is hard. Improving in boxing is very difficult. Fighting Tyson Fury is a huge challenge,” he said.

"When I wake up early in the morning and I'm tired, my body is bruised, I go out and do whatever I have to do anyway. It's rewarding and only someone like Fury can give me that. ", he added.

© 2021 AFP