|Joshua v Klitschko re-run|
|Listen to the fight again on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 06:00-10:00 BST on Sunday.|
Tyson Fury has accepted the challenge issued by world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua following the Londoner’s title victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua, who stopped the Ukrainian in the 11th round at Wembley, immediately called out fellow Briton Fury, who beat Klitschko on points in November 2015.
“Fury, where you at, baby?” he asked. “I know he’s been talking, I want to give 90,000 a chance to see us.”
Fury, who has not fought since beating Klitschko, replied: “Let’s dance.”
Joshua is now unbeaten in 19 fights, with all his victories coming inside the distance. The 27-year-old’s win in front of a post-war British record 90,000 fans at the national stadium added the WBA belt to his IBF strap.
Fury, 28, is also unbeaten as a professional, with 18 knockouts in 25 fights, but surrendered his world heavyweight titles in an effort to focus on his mental health problems and is currently without a boxing licence and out of condition.
However, he remains active on social media and indicated he wants to return, judging by his reply on Twitter to Joshua’s calls from the ring.
“Challenge accepted,” Fury wrote. “We will give the world the biggest fight in 500 years. I will play with you. You are a boxer’s dream.
“Well done Anthony Joshua. Good fight. You had life and death with Klitschko and I played with the guy. Let’s dance.”
Meanwhile, American Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBC title, wants a unification fight against Joshua, should he take the WBO belt off New Zealand’s Joseph Parker.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme on Sunday morning, Wilder said: “My plans are to get the WBO belt and once I get that, if I’m given a mandatory challenger, get that out of the way and set up a mega fight early in 2018.
“I’d be prepared to go anywhere. I don’t fear anybody and I’m not scared to go to anybody’s house. England is like a second home to me.
“But I must obtain that belt first so I can bring it to the table for a unification fight.”
London 2012 still top moment
While insisting he would cherish the memories of his victory over Klitschko, when asked if it topped winning Olympic gold at London 2012, he replied: “No. It is what it is, there’s one winner and one loser.”
He said he was happy that it was a great fight, adding: “There was a lot of hype and I’m glad it lived up to expectations.
“I learnt that I can knock out anyone. If I can keep on improving on the things I do well, I can definitely knock out any opponent.
“To get knocked down, hurt someone, get hurt, take someone out in the championship rounds where I’ve never been before, it’s testament to what training’s about.”
Joshua said there would be “no problem” if Klitschko wanted a rematch.
“I fought the better Wladimir Klitschko, not the complacent one, the guy who realised his mistakes and wanted to put it right,” Joshua said, referring to the Ukrainian’s previous defeat against Fury in 2015.
“I can only improve from this – if I don’t then I’m a silly man. It’ll be interesting to see what the next two to three years hold in my career.
“Wladimir’s been very dominant. He took a loss against Tyson Fury. I kept hearing the ‘obsession and the passion’ to get victory. He came to show what he was about, that he still had it. I knew it was going to be tough for him, because I wanted to do the same.
“Maybe against anyone else in the division he may have come out on top. I have the ultimate respect for what he’s achieved inside and outside of the ring. I wouldn’t mind fighting him again; if he wants a rematch… no problem.”
Klitschko will only fight for rematch
After suffering a fifth defeat, and a second in succession, Klitschko said he would take time to consider his options but would only fight again for a rematch with Joshua.
“I’m not going to make any statements right now,” said the 41-year-old, who was floored in the fifth round but responded by knocking Joshua down in the sixth.
“It’s too early; I actually feel pretty good, considering I lost,” he added.
“I will take my time. I have a rematch clause in the contract, which I can execute at certain times, and right now will not be making any decisions. If I’m going to fight it’ll be a rematch, of course.”
Klitschko, who has stopped 54 opponents in his 63 victories, believes Joshua remains “vulnerable” and spoke of his surprise when the Brit got up from a sixth-round knockdown.
“I thought he wouldn’t get up,” he said. “He managed to get up: respect. From that moment I felt he was out of gas and concentration. He recovered through the rounds.
“I could have done more to finish him off after he went down, but I was pretty sure ‘This is going to be my night’ so I took my time.
“I got caught and the blood was streaming into my eye, and it was difficult to see. I recovered well, took a beating, but recovered well.
“I’ve always been a fan of AJ’s talent since our sparring sessions. How he’s going to develop, we’ll see. He’s vulnerable, and this may be something he will need to work on, but he’s today’s success.
“He’s the champion, so you have to respect it. It was a good fight. The fans enjoyed it. I wish I’d been the winner.
“AJ did a good job. He was trying, was focused, and even if he went down, he got up, came back. He managed to see my left hook and block it, so he was well prepared.
“I didn’t have an off-night. I was in tremendous shape. All respect to Joshua.”
The best pictures from fight night
Joshua was ‘hit by the kitchen sink’
Promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC Radio 5 live: “There’s a lot of hype in this sport but they delivered. There were points when I thought it was over for both fighters but Joshua came roaring back from somewhere.
“He has a great chin – we didn’t know that before but we do now – and he has a heart like a lion.
“He was hit by the kitchen sink by one of the hardest hitters in the heavyweight division, and he took everything and came back to win.
“He’s proved he has charisma, heart, speed and power and he will entertain not only the British public but the public around the world for years to come.”
Anthony Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken thought his man was going to lose after he was knocked down in the sixth round.
“100% when he got knocked down by the biggest punch he has been hit with in his career,” he told Radio 5 live. “But we knew he could regroup and if he stayed with me and listened to me I would get him through it.
“We have drilled him for 12 weeks. He has hated it but I have been lucky – this is the stuff dreams are made of.
“His will to win and determination has been the most impressive thing for us. No-one deserves this more than AJ.”
Analysis – the best round of boxing ever heard on BBC Radio 5 live?
BBC Sport boxing expert Steve Bunce on Radio 5 live
It was an absolute masterclass from Klitschko. I had Klitschko ahead the whole way and Joshua knew it – he knew he had to go for the knockout.
Without doubt, the fifth round was something we have never seen before and it was the best round we have had on 5 live. Ever.
And then we had the sensational sixth where we thought the novice’s reign was over.
This is the fight absolutely no-one predicted.
‘How Twitter reacted to an unbelievable fight’
Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis: “Crackin’ Fight! Congrats to both for giving the fans something to talk about! Big up to AJ on the big win! How much heart did Klitschko show in this fight?
American boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard: “Such an amazing fight with two great fighters. Lot of heart by both fighters. A lot of questions answered by Anthony Joshua.”
Former world champion Frank Bruno: “The heavyweight division just got very exciting. The performance of both men tonight was incredible. What’s next? I’m looking forward to finding out.”
Former Olympic heptathlon champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill: “What an absolute legend! Unbelievable fight! So proud of @anthonyfjoshua. I’m exhausted just watching. Incredible!”
Three-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton: “Well done to both Anthony and Wladmir, but a huge congrats to @anthonyfjoshua for bringing it home! Great fight! #bigupyourself.”
Former England footballer Michael Owen: “Great Britain aged five years during that fifth round. Thank God Joshua found a second wind from somewhere.”
BBC Sport presenter Gary Lineker: “So gripping was the fight that all three of us in the @BBCMOTD studio jumped up when @anthonyfjoshua won. At least it was during a match edit.”
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