Joshua focused on Ngannou and not Fury-Usyk winner

Anthony Joshua, despite his three career losses, has dreamt of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion. 

In 2022, the London star believed the dream was over following his rematch defeat to Oleksandr Usyk after he attempted to recapture his unified world heavyweight title at the newly-built Tottenham Hotspur stadium. 

Both Usyk losses were on points, as former cruiserweight champion Usyk proved he could hang with the big boys at heavyweight. 

Next month sees the first undisputed heavyweight title fight since Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield boxed in 1999. 

Usyk and WBC beltholder Tyson Fury go head-to-head, after protracted negotiations in early 2023, thanks to the growing influence of Turki Alalshikh, who brokered the deal. 

However, Alalshikh has ambitions of maneuvering the winner of February 17 Usyk-Fury contest into an encounter against the Francis Ngannou-Joshua winner, a bout that takes place in March in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Former unified world champion Joshua remains focused on the task at hand as he prepares to face former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou.

Speaking to the MMA Hour, Joshua said he is not distracted by Alalshikh’s intentions and insisted that Ngannou is his sole focus. 

“Let me say this again, I’m not focusing on [facing the Fury-Usyk winner],” Joshua told The MMA Hour. “I’m going to take my mind, I have to draw it back that Ngannou is my undisputed title fight. That’s the mentality I have to have.

“Ngannou is my undisputed fight. Because you’re only as good as your last fight, and I respect him a lot. He ain’t easy money. He’s a hard night’s work. And you know what’s crazy? So am I. I’m a hard night’s work for anyone. So let’s go, it’s going to be fireworks.”

Joshua had originally agreed to face long-time divisional rival Deontay Wilder and fulfilled his end of the deal by defeating Otto Wallin in five rounds. However, Wilder was comprehensively beaten by Joseph Parker over 12 rounds and dropped a wide points decision. 

Despite Parker’s upset victory, Joshua is still interested in Wilder. 

“It’s still an amazing fight,” Joshua said. “It’s a crossover between the UK and the USA, and all that good stuff promotional-wise. It’s still a good fight.”