Anthony Joshua Has Issued A Warning To The UFC Fighters Calling Him Out
Anthony Joshua is getting used to life at the top of the boxing world. And when you're at the top, you have to expect that people are going to take pops at you and put themselves forward to take your crown.
Amid the furore that surrounded the recent superfight between boxer Floyd Mayweather Jnr and MMA fighter Conor McGregor, Joshua has found himself targeted by mixed martial artists who fancy a crack at his belts.
It seems that AJ has finally decided to weigh in on the debate, in no uncertain terms.
Joshua had joked previously that he might take to the undercard of the Mayweather-McGregor bout after UFC champ Stipe Miocic had challenged him.
Now though, his tone has hardened. "I'll still smash up those UFC fighters if I wanted. You can't talk to me like that. I'll give them a slap," he told the Daily Star.
"I'm a fighter, you don't just call people out recklessly," said the London 2012 gold medallist. "I'm not a UFC fighter - I can't put you in a submission - but I know how to throw my legs, I know how to use my elbows and I know how to punch people. "That's my only disadvantage, the submissions, but I'll throw it down, for sure."
Potential suitors had hardly been shy and retiring.
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"I would love to have a boxing match," said Junior Dos Santos, speaking before his fight for the UFC heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic back in May.
"Since I'm going to be the UFC heavyweight champion and there can be only one toughest man on the planet, I would like to fight Anthony Joshua. Champion against champion. It would be sensational."
Dos Santos lost that fight, but his vanquisher (and still UFC heavyweight champ) Stipe Miocic called out AJ soon afterwards, tweeting: "Want a more exciting fight? The two best heavyweights in the world. @anthonyfjoshua let's do this. Don't be scared homie!"
Want a more exciting fight? The two best heavyweights in the world. @anthonyfjoshua let's do this. Don't be scared homie!- Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) August 27, 2017
The draws to UFC fighters are obvious. Conor McGregor made anywhere been ten and twenty times as much to fight one boxing match as he has ever made for a UFC contest.
While many have predicted the demise of boxing at the expense of the UFC, this year's mega-money fights between Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin and Tony Bellew and David Haye among others have bounced boxing back to the top of the sporting agenda.
Featured Image Credit: PA