Anthony Joshua insists he has not yet accepted a £15million payout to step aside for Oleksandr Usyk to fight Tyson Fury.
AJ was dominated by Usyk in September last year – losing his WBA, WBO and IBF titles as a result – and is due to rematch the Ukrainian in April.
However, speculation in recent days has seen rumours link Usyk with a mouth-watering unification clash with WBC champion Fury in the Middle East next.
In order for Fury vs Usyk to go ahead, Joshua would need to be paid to forego his rematch option with the latter and reports have suggested he has agreed a £15m deal to do so.
Joshua, however, told his fans not to listen to the ‘bulls***’ stories written about him on social media on Monday.
“You know what’s bad about all these interviews I see, I see certain interviews that quote what I said and I think to myself ‘I ain’t done no interviews’. Where did this person get this information from?” he said on Instagram.
“I’m hearing people saying ‘AJ accepts £15m to step aside’. I ain’t signed no contract. I ain’t seen no contract
“Stop listening to the b******* until it comes from me.
“I’m the man in control of my own destiny. I’m the man that handles my business. I’m a smart individual and I make calculated decisions every step of the way.
“Don’t listen to the b******* from other sources. If I tell you something then you know it’s real.”
While Joshua is playing down the reports he will step aside from the Usyk rematch, talkSPORT understands it remains a serious option for him.
Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn will meet with Joshua on Tuesday to decide on his next move.
AJ’s team are believed to be ‘torn’ on the best option, so a unification bout between Usyk and Fury is still a very possible outcome if a big enough offer is made.
Bob Arum, Fury’s veteran co-promoter in the US, recently suggested to talkSPORT a step aside deal had been mooted between the two sides.
A source who has been working on negotiations for a potential unification fight between Fury and Usyk remains hopeful that an agreement can be reached whereby Joshua and WBC mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte both step aside.
This is all ahead of scheduled ‘purse bids’ for Fury vs Whyte on Wednesday which have already been postponed three times.
Whyte is the mandatory challenger for Fury’s title but a legal wrangle with the WBC has complicated matters, while he is unhappy at being awarded only 20 per cent of the total purse for the fight.
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