Anthony Joshua getting better all the time, says trainer

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Tyson Fury has been warned there is more to come from Anthony Joshua ahead of an anticipated unification fight in 2021.

A ninth-round stoppage of Kubrat Pulev on Saturday took the Briton’s record to 24-1 in what was his 10th world heavyweight bout. It was a more explosive performance from the 31-year-old compared to the disciplined display he showed against Andy Ruiz Jr last December.

In winning back his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts 12 months ago with a back-foot game, Joshua added another string to his bow and his growing maturity was evident at Wembley’s SSE Arena when he waited for the opportune moment to go in for the kill.

Next up should be a twin-meeting with Fury in a ‘Battle of Britain’ and the undefeated Mancunian has been told we have not seen the best of Olympic gold medallist Joshua yet.

“Big Josh has had 10 or 11 world title fights and is still developing and winning,” trainer Rob McCracken said.

“He’s getting better all the time and it’s what he wants to do (fight Fury).”

McCracken has been in Joshua’s corner from the start and despite criticism after his sole loss to Ruiz Jr 18 months ago, the duo are determined to give the British public what they want.

“Him and Tyson Fury are the two best heavyweights,” McCracken said.

“It’s when they fight, not if. I wouldn’t have thought they’d wait. I would think they would definitely fight and probably fight at least twice next year, that’s what everybody wants to happen.

“Me? Oh yeah, you can’t not let the fans see two great heavyweights go against each other, especially when they are British so 100 per cent they will box each other. It’s not even worth talking about.”

All five world heavyweight titles are held by the Britons and McCracken admitted it would be “a fascinating fight and brilliant for boxing” but there are some finer details to be resolved first.

Not least is the issue of WBO challenger Oleksandr Usyk and whether Deontay Wilder is granted a third contest against Fury. The expectation is the aforementioned problems can be sorted.

If the fights do go ahead, it will not be the first time McCracken has been in the ring with Fury. He was in the Gypsy King’s corner for his debut against Bela Gyongyosi and again for his ninth bout with Tomas Mrazek in Ireland after then-trainer Hughie Fury could not travel out to Dublin.

Anthony Joshua retained his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight world title belts with a stunning ninth-round win against Kubrat Pulev
Anthony Joshua retained his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight world title belts with a stunning ninth-round win against Kubrat Pulev (Andrew Couldridge/PA)

“Tyson was a really talented, nice kid. Now he’s obviously grown up, but he was a super talented and natural fighter.”

McCracken also recalled a memorable sparring session he saw in Breaffy House, adding: “Basically I saw Tyson Fury spar with a really good heavyweight.

“I won’t mention his name, but he was a solid pro and Tyson was just turning pro and was an amateur in a small ring, but he handled him twice.

“He’s an exceptional talent Fury, but so is big Josh.”

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