Joshua plans to earn place alongside Ali and Tyson

Anthony Joshua will consider himself on a par with all-time greats Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson if he becomes the first heavyweight to unify all four belts.

Three-time heavyweight champion Ali is widely considered the greatest boxer in history, while Tyson won 12 title fights and mounted successful defences against the likes of Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks.

Joshua claimed the IBF belt by defeating Charles Martin in 2016 and added the WBA strap with a stunning knockout victory over Wladimir Klitschko last April.

The 28-year-old is expected to take on WBO champion Joseph Parker and WBC title-holder Deontay Wilder next year.

Asked if victories over Parker and Wilder would establish him alongside the likes of Ali and Tyson, Joshua, speaking courtesy of Sports Tonight/Dubai Eye 103.8, said: "100 percent. Because we've done something credible, tangible and we have the assets to prove it. And that's why I always say that the proof is in the pudding.

"When I negotiate the fight and once it's done, I will announce it. I don't like to talk about it. I'm this, I'm that - when I haven't got it. So once I do have it and I'm on the journey; for instance, the fight is a week away, I'll say I'm on the verge of becoming or I'm on the verge of mentioning my name alongside the greats like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.

"At the minute, I'm a prospect, and I know what the future holds, but I'll just keep a lid on all this for now because we've still got so far to go."

A clash with Tyson Fury has also been mooted for Joshua, though the former world champion has fallen behind on his conditioning and still needs to secure a boxing licence.

On whether Fury's return would be good for the sport, Joshua said: "To a certain degree. I'm always positive about other fighters.

"Sometimes there's a lot more I could say. I could say more and be a lot more reckless, but I'm going to keep very professional when I say, I wish Tyson Fury all the best.

"It would be great to see him back because it's not about what he says, it's just the fact people want to see him back.

"Provided he's back, it's a fight that I'll make happen. And as they all say, it will be one of the biggest boxing fights in history so let's make people proud."

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