British world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has laid his cards on the table, saying he doesn't want to face Tyson Fury, because he doesn't offer the opportunity to earn another title.
Speaking to ESPN, Joshua laid out his preferred route in 2019 as he stated his preference to face WBC champion Deontay Wilder, who fought to a draw against Fury on December 1 in a bout many pundits believe he lost.
But despite calls for an immediate rematch between the pair, Joshua is looking to insert himself into the equation, jump ahead of Fury and face Wilder on April 13 in a bid to capture the WBC title and in the process become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
"I’m not interested in Tyson Fury – he’s not the champion," said Joshua.
"I’m willing to fight Deontay Wilder on 13 April in London. I don’t know what more I need to do to get that message across. He’s more interested in fighting Tyson Fury. Fury holds no world titles.
"I’ve booked the date in advance, booked the venue in advance. I want to make my point clear in front of everyone – I’m willing to fight any one of these guys, especially the champion Deontay Wilder.
"I’m the one leading the pack since I made my debut. Five years in, several title defences and I’m running the game. I mean business. I don’t know what more I need to do to get that message across to the world. I can handle my business and I’m willing to do that in the ring."
It remains to be seen whether Joshua's offer will convince Wilder to move away from plans for a rematch with Fury in favor of a potential unification battle with "A.J." in London.
But if Wilder stays on course for a rematch with Fury, another option could soon be available to Joshua, with the Brit's promoter Eddie Hearn revealing to iFL TV that Wladimir Klitschko has been in touch with the world champion to tell him he wants to come out of retirement to rule the division once again.
"He wants to come back," Hearn said of Klitschko.
"I think he text(ed) AJ and said: ‘I want to come back. I feel like I beat everyone in the division right now’."
If he did return, Klitschko may well believe he has unfinished business with both Joshua and Fury, with both British heavyweights defeating the Ukrainian former world champion in title fights prior to his retirement.
With Wilder, Fury and Joshua all jockeying for position and the potential return of Klitschko looming on the radar, the world heavyweight championship picture looks set for an exciting journey in 2019.