LONDON: Anthony Joshua said Monday “I’m in control of my own destiny” as he insisted reports he had agreed a £15 million ($20 million, 18 million euros) deal to step aside from his world heavyweight title re-match with Oleksandr Usyk were false. Several stories in the UK national press suggested the British boxer was willing to allow Ukraine’s Usyk to fight Tyson Fury in a unification title bout. But Joshua, speaking in a Talksport online video posted on Twitter, said: “You know what’s mad about all these interviews I see? “I see certain interviews that quote what I said and I think to myself, ‘I haven’t done no interviews’.”
The 32-year-old added: “I’m hearing people saying: ‘AJ accepts £15million to step aside’. I ain’t signed no contract; I ain’t seen no contract. “So as it stands, stop listening to the bullshit until it comes from me. I’m the man in control of my own destiny, I’m the man that handles my business.” Usyk gave a boxing masterclass in recording a unanimous points victory to deprive Joshua of his World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) belts in front of the dethroned champion’s home crowd at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.
By extending his unbeaten professional record, Usyk also delayed the prospects of an all-British unification bout between Joshua and Fury. In October, Fury defeated Deontay Wilder to retain his World Boxing Council belt. The WBC have since said Fury must face mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte in his next title defence, although boxing history indicates that such objections need not get in the way of a bout with Usyk instead if the financial terms are agreeable to all concerned. Joshua, who has a rematch clause in his contract with Usyk, said: “I’m a smart individual and I make calculated decisions every step of the way…If I tell you something then you know it’s real.”