As the heavyweight contenders circle in 2021 once more, unified champion Anthony Joshua has fired the first warning shots in the direction of the pretenders to his throne.
After months and indeed years of speculation, this past week, Joshua and Tyson Fury finally agreed a two-fight deal to crown an undisputed king of the division.
Now, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champ Joshua has been having his own say and as part of an interview with JDSports, the 31-year-old is bullish on his chances this year.
And referring to the smash-mouth Fury, Joshua sees the Wythenshawe fighter as nothing more than his next stepping stone to boxing greatness.
“He (Fury) can bring whatever he wants, it don’t matter to me.
"The press conference antics, the fight antics, the hands behind the back, I love that stuff that’s all part of it you know that’s his job, but my job is to close the show.
"He’s a warm-up act, he’s there to do all that stuff but ultimately my job is to close the show and that’s all that matters.
"For me, I’ve still got so much more I want to do in this boxing game, the road to undisputed is part of the journey it’s not the end to the journey.
"That’s why I know I will get past this fight because I’m looking past him, I want more, this isn’t where this stops."
Said upcoming duology are set to be the biggest fights in British boxing history, with a venue to be announced in the coming days.
Should Joshua get past Fury initially, a long-in-the-offing bout with deposed WBC champion Deontay Wilder could then materialise.
Further afield perhaps lies Usyk, who rather laboured to victory against Derek Chisora last October in his second heavyweight fight after stepping up from cruiserweight.
Neither opponent, however, holds many fears for Joshua after his latest victory against the durable Kubrat Pulev, and as he spoke about how he adapts his fight style accordingly, the Briton's confidence is unwavering, whoever he faces.
"This ain’t about being the strongest. This ain’t about being the quickest in there. Ain’t about being the tallest. This is about being able to adapt. I have to adapt each time I get into the ring.
"There were so many times I had to adapt my style, and that is the whole point of being a successful boxer.
"It’s not about being the man who lifts the most or being the man who can throw you know on the pads. It’s about being able to adjust in a fight.
"No matter what man you put in front of me, short, tall, big, small, I’ll be able to defeat them all."News Now - Sport News