Ball in court of Anthony Joshua after shock Tyson Fury offer

Fury may have some heavyweight business of his own to take care of the this weekend, but he was deadly serious about training Anthony Joshua.

The ball is well and truly in the court of Anthony Joshua after Tyson Fury's shock offer this week.

After AJ's convincing defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in September the 'Gypsy King' offered his help to his fellow heavyweight for the rematch.

Joshua has triggered the rematch, but the finer details have yet to be hammered out, after the Brit's unanimous points defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The judges scored the contest 115-113, 116-112 and 117-112 to Ukrainian Usyk, who walked away with AJ's WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts.

But in a shock move, Fury has gone on record and said he will help train Joshua for the second fight and will do so for free.

Fury, speaking to Steve Bunce, told BT Sport he would be more than happy to help Joshua and guaranteed his fellow Brit a win against Usyk.

Fury has his own matters to attend to on Saturday when he faces Deontay Wilder for a third time in Las Vegas. The 6ft 9in fighter is the heavy favourite to follow up his February 2020 win over the American.

But he was deadly serious when he told Bunce he would "guarantee" AJ would get the better of Usyk if he and his trainer SugarHill Steward worked with him.

Fury told BT Sport: "I know that if I trained Joshua - me and SugarHill - he'd definitely beat Oleksandr Usyk. That's a fact.

"And I would be open to doing it. I'd be very open to me and SugarHill training him.

"I'd do it for free, because I don't need the money. I wouldn't take his money anyway.

"We would take on that challenge no problem.

"I guarantee he would beat him."

When asked again if he would be prepared to help Joshua, Fury said: "For free."

Asked if he believes Joshua could beat Usyk with his help, Fury added: "For sure."

Fury refused to reveal what he would help Joshua with: "That would be telling now, wouldn't it?"

"I tell you what I'd do with him... I'd give him the right information to beat Usyk.

"I'm not going to say what. I think everybody knows.

"You've got to train for it, you can't just do. It's not just like saying 'do this, do that' and then doing it.

"You have to train to do it."

'AJ got tactics wrong'

Joshua's 12-round loss to the older Usyk has prompted plenty of criticism.

Sky Sports analyst has said AJ has to "out-bash" Usyk in the rematch

"He has to devise a completely different game-plan here. He tried to out-box a very good boxer," said Nelson.

"Now he has to out-bash a very good boxer. I'm trying to work out what other option he has.

"He needs to start letting go of the right hand. Let it go like it's a jab. There needs to be fluidity in his work in both hands.

"He will look back at the successes and what he neglected to do. He needs to be smart. Because he gave this guy too much space."

AJ himself has said he has "identified my mistakes and learnt my lesson". And his promoter at Matchroom Eddie Hearn has said that trainer Rob McCracken got things wrong.

"I've seen many comments on how the tactics were wrong - and they were - but it's difficult to not appreciate the things Usyk did," Hearn told the BBC.

"AJ was frustrated because he knows he can do so much better and boxed the wrong fight, but Usyk's performance was exceptional.

"But, going back to the Ruiz loss, that was different as it was just such a shock, nobody knew what to say. Here, you could see AJ's mind working overtime on how he can beat Usyk. It was like the preparation for the rematch began then.

"I saw [Tyson Fury's co-promoter] Bob Arum saying AJ should step aside for Fury v Usyk but I couldn't imagine that scenario happening in a million years.

"We will formally announce the rematch in due course and start planning with K2 Promotions - March or April is sensible for the rematch."

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