Anthony Joshua warned Tyson Fury that he “will be on the road to becoming the undisputed champion” and will make sure they finally meet in the ring.
Joshua is set for rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, where he aims to avenge the defeat and reclaim his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships.
WBC champion Fury was ordered by the governing body to negotiate a mandatory defense against Dillian Whyte.
Joshua intends to rectify the undisputed dream of the all-British title fight: “I should have fought [Fury] last August.
“If I’m not fighting the guy I’m supposed to be fighting, I want the next best one.
“Usyk came out of cruiserweight – a great fighter, a 12 round fighter.
“There was always this stigma that said I couldn’t box, that I was a big, stiff bodybuilder.
“I said, ‘Okay, dude.’
“Usyk has won nine rounds, I have won three.
“In the next match, if I win four more rounds, then I will win. Let me simplify the matter.
“Then I will set out on the road to be the undisputed champion again.”
Joshua aims for a third reign as heavyweight world champion – his first was surprisingly interrupted by Andy Ruiz Jr, an achievement he avenged just six months later.
Take on a much tougher challenge against the undefeated Usyk, former Olympic gold medalist, undisputed heavyweight champion and one of only three fighters to win the world title in boxing’s two biggest weight divisions.
But Joshua is optimistic: “I belong to the big stage. I belong as a champion, I belong among the names of this current generation. You’ll see why.
“If I haven’t fought my best, I may not have lost.
“People have high expectations of me, so they are shocked. I also have high expectations.
“When I lost the first time I never found excuses, but I had my reason.
“I took my loss, but I knew I would buy it back.
“But that hurt. There were no problems, I just lost to the best man the night. But it gave me the motivation to get myself out of that position.
“I will redeem myself”.
Joshua trained in the United States and Dubai with various experienced coaches – including Ronnie Shields, Virgil Hunter and Eddy Reynoso – although longtime manager Rob McCracken remains a part of his team.
He said of the improvements for the Usyk rematch: “Game program, mindset, brain training, sparring, our approach, dietary needs, sleep, recovery, motivational talk.
“This is the most important phase of my career”.
Sky Sport Boxing Program
Sunday 30th January – Top Rank in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez – Eliminator of the WBC super featherweight title
Saturday 5th February (targeted) – BOXXER in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr versus Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin – IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles
Sunday 6th February – Top Rank in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza
Saturday 19th February – BOXXER in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Saturday 26 February – BOXXER and Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed superlight titles