Anthony Joshua has warned Tyson Fury that he will “get onto the road to being the undisputed champion” and ensure they finally meet in the ring.
Joshua is first set for a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk where he aims to avenge defeat and claw back his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships.
WBC champion Fury has been ordered by the governing body to negotiate a mandatory defence against Dillian Whyte.
Joshua intends to rectify the dream all-British undisputed title fight: “I was supposed to fight [Fury] last August.
“If I don’t fight the guy I’m supposed to fight, I want the next best.
“Usyk came up from cruiserweight – a great fighter, a 12-round fighter.
“There was always this stigma saying that I can’t box – that I was a big, stiff bodybuilder.
“I said: ‘Okay, cool’.
“Usyk won nine rounds, I won three.
“In the next fight, if I win four more rounds then I will win. Let me simplify that matter.
“Then I’ll get onto the road to being the undisputed champion again.”
Joshua is aiming for a third reign as world heavyweight champion – his first was shockingly cut short by Andy Ruiz Jr, a result which he avenged just six months later.
He faces a far tougher challenge against the undefeated Usyk, a former Olympic gold medallist, undisputed cruiserweight champion and one of only three fighters to win the world title in boxing’s biggest two weight divisions.
But Joshua is bullish: “I belong on the big stage. I belong as a champion, I belong among the names of this current generation. You will see why.
“If I didn’t fight the best, I may not have lost.
“People have high expectations of me, so they are shocked. I have high expectations too.
“When I lost the first time I never made excuses but I had my reason.
“I took my loss but I knew I would get it back.
“But this one hurt. There were no problems, I just lost to the better man on the night. But it gave me motivation to pull myself out of that position.
“I will redeem myself.”
Joshua has been training in the US and Dubai with various experienced trainers – including Ronnie Shields, Virgil Hunter and Eddy Reynoso – although long-time trainer Rob McCracken remains a part of his team.
He said about improvements for the Usyk rematch: “Game-plan, mind-set, brain training, sparring, our approach, dietary needs, sleep, recovery, motivational speeches.
“This is the biggest stage of my career.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
Sunday January 30 – Top Rank in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez – WBC super-featherweight title eliminator
Saturday February 5 (targeted) – BOXXER in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin – IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles
Sunday February 6 – Top Rank in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza
Saturday February 19 – BOXXER in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Saturday February 26 – BOXXER and Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight titles