Anthony Joshua has said that Tyson Fury “hasn’t been in the deep end long enough” to be considered “intimidating.”
Joshua criticized the amount of difficult fights that his fellow world heavyweight champion has battled through.
He said at a Sky VIP event: “What have you seen from Fury? A couple of feints? Moving around? What have you seen that makes him seem so intimidating? Speed?
‘No obstacle must stop AJ vs Fury!’
“If the sport is lacking so much talent then all you need is feints and movement to be classed as a great of this generation…..
“With hard work, motivation and studying you can overcome that.
“So what do people see in Fury that is so fearsome, intimidating, that he can’t be touched at the top level?
“I take him as a serious challenger, of course. But resume? It’s taken him a long time to grow.
“His fight with Wladimir Klitschko was his first real challenge and he overcame it, but it took him eight years to build his experience and confidence.
“Then he had two years out and fought Deontay Wilder.
“He hasn’t been in the deep end for long enough to show me that he can swim there for a long time. You have to continually prove that you belong there. You don’t just come there once or twice.
“For me as a fighter, that’s how you gain my respect.”
Joshua will next defend his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against Kubrat Pulev, while WBC champion Fury will fight Wilder again.
Then Joshua and Fury can decide an undisputed champion in 2021 – they have already agreed financial terms to fight.
Joshua earlier told Sky Sports News about a chance encounter with Fury while on holiday in Marbella: “I bumped into Fury last week.
“It’s funny because I was at a pool party, chilling with a couple of my boys, some of my mates live out there.
“Fury fans were there. There was a healthy, sporting divide – Fury and AJ. They were shouting ‘Tyson Fury’ as I walked off. I gave them a gesture to let them know that I’m still here, I’m one of the lads as well!
“On my way back they tried to do it again so I confronted them.
“I said: ‘I’m here for the banter but let’s not make it a disrespectful thing. We’re all just here for a good time’.
“That calmed that situation down.
“Next minute, I bumped into Fury!
“It’s only right me and him will bump heads soon. We’ll put on a great show for the British public and the world. It’s going to be a massive fight.”