Joshua revealed that if it were a smart business move, he would step aside so that the Ukrainian heavyweight champion could take on fellow Brit Tyson Fury in a unification fight.
Fury this week called out AJ to stand down from his rematch with Usyk so that the Gypsy King could take him on in an undisputed superfight at some point next year.
Joshua took on Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in September, and after being outclassed and losing via unanimous decision, he instantly triggered his rematch clause.
With Fury’s words still hanging in the air, AJ has replied to the request to step aside and he’s somewhat surprisingly admitted that he could stand down, but only if it made financial sense.
Speaking to iFL TV, he said: “I think people know not to approach me with that rubbish. People know not to approach me with that bull****.
“It may have come to my team, but I think they know not to bring it to me at the minute.
“At this stage of my career it’s not about the money, it’s about the respect. You’ve got to look at what I want out of this game; number one is respect, you don’t have to like me but you will respect me.
“The second is to go down as a throwback fighter, someone who was willing to fight the best in their division so that when I walk the streets with my son, my cousin and my nephews, people will know I’m a real fighter.”
He went on to state: “In terms of stepping aside, I don’t know if that goes in line with what I morally stand for… but I want to be known as one of the smartest businessmen as well.
“I want to make the smart decisions and if the money is right we would have to look at it but respect has more value than money.
“Will I take the step-aside money? If it’s a smart business move… will it affect my reputation and respect?
“Will I still get to fight the best fighters? Those are the three things I have to consider.”
The fear from Fury’s camp is that, if AJ loses a second fight against Usyk, it jeopardises the potential superfight between two of Britain’s best boxers in recent history.
Having lost his WBA, IBF and WBO titles for a second time earlier this year, AJ’s next fight could well be career defining.