Tyson Fury praises Anthony Joshua's performance in Andy Ruiz Jr win

Anthony Joshua reclaimed his IBF, WBA and WBO titles from Andy Ruiz Jr last week and boxing fans are now eagerly awaiting a matchup against Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.

The two-time heavyweight champion produced a smart performance in Saudi Arabia, showing impressive footwork and using his jab to great effect to frustrate Ruiz Jr.

Joshua will fight either the WBO’s mandatory challenger – currently Oleksandr Usyk – or the IBF’s equivalent, Kubrat Pulev, next.

But he’s aware of the desire to see him take on Wilder or Fury and says a fight against either heavyweight “has to happen in 2020”.

“It has to happen in 2020, we’re in the same division, same era, if these guys want to make history, especially Wilder because he has the last belt,” Joshua said on BBC Radio 2.

Both Wilder and Fury, who will meet each other in a rematch on February 22, watched Joshua’s fight against Ruiz Jr, no doubt studying his performance closely.

And Fury has delivered his verdict on Joshua’s display during an interview with Behind the Gloves.

Joshua has been accused of running from Ruiz Jr but he’s received no criticism from Fury, who has praised the Watford-born fighter for showing “guts and boxing ability”.

“Fair play to AJ, he outboxed a fella who knocked him out before,” Fury said. “It takes a lot of guts and boxing ability.

“I thought he looked fantastic.

“I’ve heard the criticism by everybody, but this game is about winning.

“I don’t care if you win by an inch or a mile or you win by a knockout or one point, winning is winning.

“No-one wants to lose and I’d rather win and stink the place out than lose in a very entertaining fight.

“So fair play to Joshua for doing that.”

It wouldn’t be at all surprising to hear Fury criticise Joshua tomorrow.

But for now, it’s nice to hear him giving AJ props.

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