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Tyson Fury praises 'classy' Anthony Joshua for not making excuses like Deontay Wilder

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Tyson Fury continues to express his concern for Deontay Wilder's mental wellbeing, as the American claims he was the victim of cheating in their second fight, and has added that domestic heavyweight rival Anthony Joshua was much classier when he tasted defeat.

Fury is no stranger to mental health struggles after following up his maiden world championship win over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 with drug and fitness issues that cost him his boxing licence and kept him out of the ring until 2018.

And he told the Talksport Breakfast Show on Thursday that Wilder's continued attempts to discredit his seventh-round stoppage defeat to Fury back in February leave him worried about 'The Bronze Bomber'.

He said: "After seeing all his excuses lately and that he’s still holding on to these malice feelings and opinions that people have cheated him; his trainers have cheated him, I had weights in my gloves, his costume was too heavy, he had a bicep injury ... I’ve run out of ideas of what other excuses a man could make in a defeat in boxing.

“To keep coming out with these accusations, I was quite concerned and I still am for his mental wellbeing.

“First he doesn’t speak or say anything for eight months, and all of a sudden he’s coming out with all this stuff.

“I don’t know who is advising him or who is around him, but I think, in my opinion, he needs to seek a bit of help himself.

“To keep going on like he’s going on is unsportsmanlike and it’s a sure sign of mental health problems.

“Nobody wants to get beat, especially after a 12-year unbeaten streak, but there has to be a point where you let a defeat go.

“In sport, teams lose, boxers lose, everyone’s gonna lose now and again.

“If it’s more than a sporting contest to you and you’re gonna take it to your grave with you, all this hatred and bad feelings, I don’t think you should be doing it.

“Wilder’s now, after I’ve come out and said I’m concerned for his mental wellbeing, maybe he saw that and he’s put that tweet out.”

This led to the Talksport team asking Fury for his thoughts on how Joshua, who is likely to fight Fury in 2021 if both men are victorious in planned December outings, handled his 2019 loss of the WBA, WBO and IBF belts to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Joshua regained the titles in a rematch later that year, and will defend them against Kubrat Pulev on Dec. 12 while Fury still hopes to face an opponent to be confirmed before Christmas, with promoter Frank Warren giving up on the Wilder trilogy ever being finalised.

Fury said of Joshua: “Very class. Listen, we’re rivals and we have been for a long time but I’ve gotta speak truthfully and honestly.

“You’re a world heavyweight champion and you take a loss — he handled it like a man. He handled it very sportsmanlike, took it in his stride. He knew he made a mistake and that was it.

“He didn’t say why, he didn’t make a million excuses, I didn’t hear any excuses from him himself at all, none. He just said, ‘Well done, congratulations, I’ll see you next time.’

“And I would hope that I could conduct myself like that as well if that happened to me.

“We’ve seen it so many times over the years with the likes of Wilder’s excuses and David Haye’s excuses.

“Everybody who loses a fight, for whatever reason, they always come out and say something like, ‘Oh, I had a bad foot, a bad elbow, a shoulder operation.’ And I just think, if you’re going into a big fight with these injuries, either don’t take the fight and have it postponed, or don’t mention it afterwards.

“Don’t try and take somebody else’s glory away from their victory.

“And I’ve gotta take my hat off to AJ, he didn’t. He just said, ‘Look, I got beat by the better man on the night, fair play.’ I thought that was class.”

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