Anthony Joshua has backed Tyson Fury to defeat Deontay Wilder, insisting his fellow Brit can “hurt or out-box” the American.
Fury will challenge Wilder for the WBC heavyweight championship on February 22 in Las Vegas, before Joshua is expected to defend the IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Kubrat Pulev with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the likeliest venue.
Asked about his rivals’ rematch, Joshua exclusively told Sky Sports: “Wilder coming through is better because [a fight with me] is what people have been eagerly anticipating.
“But I think Fury can win. For Wilder to win he has to knock Fury completely out, and he couldn’t do that the first time.
“For Fury to win, he can hurt Wilder or out-box him. Fury has more to his arsenal so that’s why I’m leaning to him.
“Fury can punch a bit. He’s underestimated with his punching power which makes him dangerous. If you underestimate someone it makes them dangerous because you don’t respect them until you get hit.
“Fury is a really good boxer, to a certain degree, so he has the upper hand. Wilder isn’t the best of boxers but he has a right hand – if you can avoid that, you have the beating of him.
“Good luck to Fury – it would be great to have two heavyweight champions here in England.”
Joshua insisted he still wants to crown an undisputed champion in 2020: “I’m still clawing after the last belt that’s out there. I know I’ll get my hands on it eventually.”
He said about becoming a two-time champion: “I don’t want to do what Andy Ruiz Jr did, and lose it straight away. I want to hold it for a number of years.
“Trust me, a different beast has been awoken.”
Joshua had previously claimed he could make a “curveball offer” to fight the winner of Wilder and Fury’s rematch, tempting them away from a third fight with each other.