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Fury gives Joshua big challenge

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Tyson Fury has offered Anthony Joshua the chance to fight for his World Boxing Council crown before the end of the year in a blockbuster British heavyweight title fight.

Fury suggested he was retiring from boxing after beating Dillian Whyte in April but is now searching for a high-profile opponent after rival champion Oleksandr Usyk said he does not intend to fight again until 2023.

Joshua suffered a second consecutive defeat to the Ukrainian in Saudi Arabia last month and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, is considering options for a return to the ring for the 32-year-old.

The unbeaten Fury announced he was retiring on his 34th birthday last month, having previously performed a number of U-turns over his future in the sport.

In a video posted on social media on Monday he appeared to confirm he had reversed his decision again.

“You’ve all heard that I’m going to be fighting within the next few months, and before I announce an opponent I need to do this just in case,” Fury said.

“Anthony Joshua, I know you’ve just lost a fight to Usyk, and I know you’re belt-less at the moment, and I’d like to give you an opportunity to fight me for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world and the lineal championship in the next few months.”

“You’re coming off a 12-round fight so you’re match fit, you’re ready, I’m giving you a few months’ notice.”

“If you’re interested I’ll send you the date over and we can rumble — a battle of Britain for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world. Let me know if you’re interested. If not, I will select another opponent.”

Joshua responded on Twitter by telling Fury to contact his management team.

“I don’t do the online discussions just for clout,” wrote Joshua, before adding: “I’ll be ready in December.”

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