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20th Apr 2017

Anthony Joshua names the one fight that would be bigger than his upcoming clash with Wladimir Klitschko

Can't argue with that

Darragh Murphy

One of the biggest fights of the year is just over a week away.

Anthony Joshua’s toughest task to date is on the horizon and Wladimir Klitschko is preparing to spoil the London party and derail the hype train known as ‘AJ’.

The IBF, vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles will be on the line in Wembley next Saturday, as will Joshua’s perfect professional record and his flawless streak of 18 professional fights ending in 18 knockouts.

The heavyweight bout has a palpable feel of the past vs. the future, with the old guard of Klitschko hoping to prove that he’s still got it against a young, up-and-coming powerhouse.

But, if you ask Joshua, this isn’t the biggest fight on the table as he insists that an all-British showdown with Tyson Fury would far exceed the fight that’s staring him right in the face.

“I think Tyson Fury is the biggest fight for me,” Joshua said. “If it were up to me, that would have been the fight happening this summer. That’s what I thought. I was planning for a massive showdown with Tyson Fury, but he had other plans and I just had to carry on. When he returns, I’m sure I’ll still be here.”

Joshua and Fury exchanged barbs on Twitter this week, with ‘AJ’ insisting that Fury’s out-of-ring indiscretions were the only reason they had yet to cross paths.

“Twitter is about communication and it’s just communicating,” Joshua said. “He addresses me and tweets me quite often and I was just in the frame of mind where I thought me and Klitschko don’t have much verbals, so let me respond to Fury.”

In all probability, Joshua would welcome the increase in “verbals”, as he calls it, as tension translates seamlessly to money when it comes to prize-fighting.

Fury is always going to have more to say than the typically stoic Klitschko, although the Ukrainian did his best to get the trash-talk started last week.

But fight fans saw right through it and the pair went right back to being best friends once sat opposite each other on The Gloves Are Off.