AFTER his victory over Wladimir Klitschko, certain sections of the media have been quick to vilify new world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. But Anthony Joshua, who takes on old rival Dillian Whyte for the British heavyweight title on Saturday, previously held by Fury, focused on Tyson’s sporting achievement.

“I’ve got to respect him. Everyone says, ‘Klitschko’s boring, Klitschko’s boring.’ I said why don’t anyone beat him then? Everyone says Klitschko’s boring but no one beat him [for a decade] and Fury’s done it. I’ve got to give him credit. Everyone’s complained, said that they needed a new champion, Fury was the man, credit where credit’s due,” Joshua told Boxing News.

Given popular demand for the fight, Joshua, the Olympic gold medallist, probably isn’t too far from challenging Fury himself. “I don’t think [he’s far off]. They were talking about it, they’ve always mentioned it when I first turned pro. I was like, ‘Look I’m eight months as a pro.’ I’m two and a bit years as a pro now and they’re still talking about it. I think people want to fast track me to these fights,” he said. “I don’t mind.

“That’s what I’m here to do. I’ll fight anyone. It’s a shame that you come with all the public expectations but it’s a fight, you win some, you lose some. You’ve just got to go in there and give it your best. I’ll fight whoever. That’s the only way you get to be a legend, a superstar… So I don’t mind fighting.”

It would be a major event. Also, given Fury’s current public persona, it would be easy, in some quarters, to portray it as a ‘hero versus villain’ type of fight. That perception too would increase the magnitude of the occasion.

But Anthony noted, “People will still want to see me get beat. People like the bad guy. There’s not far, I don’t think, in between good and bad. There’s not far in between. You’ve still got a job to do at the end of the day, good or bad guy, you’ve still got to win. That’s what people are going to remember. That’s what matters. It seems that way in my sport, people only care about whether you win.”