BOXING: Anthony Joshua believes Tyson Fury will return to the ring

Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua has sent a message of support to Tyson Fury who is battling to overcome his current mental health issues and says he is convinced the reigning world heavyweight champion will fight again.

Joshua is being lined up to face Wladimir Klitschko in a unification contest with Fury set to be stripped of his belts after testing positive for cocaine.

Fury’s public statements have become increasingly erratic in recent days with the 28-year-old announcing his retirement on Twitter on Monday only to reverse his decision hours later.

And the British Boxing Board of Control is expected to take away his licence next week after he admitted in an interview with Rolling Stone that he had taken cocaine on “many, many occasions” in the last six months.

Joshua, who has frequently found himself on the receiving end of Fury’s expletive-ridden barbs saidt: “I am sure we will see Tyson Fury back in the ring again.

“Tyson is a fighting man, a real talent and he is good for boxing in his own way. I really hope to see him getting back to what he does best.

“It’s too easy to point the finger because none of us really know what he is going through. What I do know is he is a fighter and all fighters eventually come back.”

Joshua is set to defend his IBF version of the world heavyweight title in November but could instead now face Klitschko, who has seen two scheduled rematches against Fury postponed.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has indicated there is a good chance the bout could take place before the end of the year - and Joshua insists he would leap at the chance to take on the former champion.

Joshua added: “A year ago I knew I needed more time before I fought a guy like Klitschko but a year has passed and I’m more mature and comfortable with it.

“I feel like this path was laid out for me. I’ve come up and won the belt and with Tyson also winning the belts it opened up the division and and has given me the opportunity.

“It’s all about creating the legacy and it’s both an opportunity for me to win another belt and for Klitschko to win his back. It’s the fight everyone wants to see.”