Joshua challenges Wilder and Fury to ‘come face-to-face’

Anthony Joshua has warned Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury of his “fight instinct” as threats are hurled back-and-forth.

IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Joshua is aiming to take Wilder’s WBC belt before fighting Fury, who announced his comeback last week after two-and-a-half years out.

“When you’re a fighter you can’t let certain things slide,” Joshua said about his rivals’ trash talk.

“Sometimes you use it as fuel but, at the same time, when you’re hearing it constantly you have to let it slide off your back. It’s hard, though.

“It’s a balance because, even though I try to keep it professional and I don’t want to bite back, I’ve got that fight instinct. Sometimes you need to give as good as you get.

“I’d rather do it face-to-face. That’s what I’m waiting for. That’s what I’ve always said.

“Even though Fury went through what he went through, I hoped for his return so he can fight soon.

“Wilder – we’re looking at negotiations to see whether we can get that going. There’s a lot of talk across the pond but it will be good when we come face-to-face.”

Joshua, after beating fellow champion Joseph Parker, has turned his attention towards a fight against Wilder that would crown the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Fury, meanwhile, said last week: “I am still a lineal heavyweight champion, and if they ever want to be considered the best of their era, then they have to beat this man here.

“[Joshua and Wilder] are both very good opponents, both unbeaten, and both knockout punchers.

“I believe I can outbox both of them, but they are both very dangerous all the time they are in the ring.”

Joshua had previously expressed irritation with the fighting talk from Fury, who hasn’t boxed since ending Wladimir Klitschko’s world title reign in November 2015.

“Until he makes his return to the ring, I cannot sit down and wait patiently at home for Tyson Fury’s return,” Joshua said last week.

“I have a career and goals I want to achieve so I am focusing on what I am doing.

“He has to get himself back in action and worry about what he is doing, rather than sitting at home commentating on my fights.

“He should be getting a bit of motivation and hunger back in the belly to get training and get back in the ring because realistically people don’t want to see a commentator. They want to see a fighter fight.”