Anthony Joshua is confident he can lure Tyson Fury out of retirement to set up their long-awaited Battle of Britain.
After knocking out Dillian Whyte in front of 94,000 people at Wembley Stadium, Fury has insisted he is done with boxing, vowing to keep to a promise made to his wife Paris.
Joshua meanwhile will take on Oleksandr Usyk in July in a bid to reclaim the IBF, WBO and WBA titles he lost to the Ukrainian last year.
WBC champion Fury was expected to fight the winner of that contest to crown heavyweight boxing’s first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.
And while ‘The Gypsy King’ is adamant he won’t be tempted back, Joshua is convinced the fight can still be made if he gets past Usyk this summer.
‘If Fury was in the boxing arena, was to come out of retirement and honour the gentleman’s agreement, there’s a lot of money to be made,’ Joshua said, speaking at the Oxford Union where he gave a talk to students.
‘First and foremost, I have a pound-for-pound fighter on my list in Usyk, who’s a tough competitor for sure.
‘People say I only focus on what’s in front of me, which is a good way to be, but also I want to look at what the bigger picture holds so I can steamroll through, I have to, so I can get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
‘So, for sure, I feel like retirement doesn’t mean that you’ve completely given up and you’re on the beach clicking your phone drinking a bottle of Corona. I feel he’s still ticking over and he’ll come back if the right fight is presented to him.’
In 2020, Joshua and Fury agreed to a two-fight deal to crown an undisputed champion.
Those plans were laid to waste however when Deontay Wilder won his legal battle to enforce a trilogy bout with Fury later that year.
Joshua instead took on his mandatory challenger Usyk who turned in a stunning display to take the belts at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year.
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