LONDON (Reuters) -Anthony Joshua said he would be ready to fight world champion Tyson Fury in December after he was issued a public challenge on Monday to fight a 'Battle of Britain' for the WBC heavyweight boxing belt.
Joshua, 32, suffered a second straight loss to Ukraine's WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion Oleksandr Usyk in a title rematch in Saudi Arabia last month and has said he wants to return to the ring before the end of the year.
Fury announced last April that he was fulfilling a promise to his wife to retire but has subsequently said he will fight again.
"I think you've all heard that I am going to be fighting soon within the next few months," Fury said in a video https://www.instagram.com/p/CiH5HLegHaX/ directed at the former champion on social media.
"Anthony Joshua, I know you've just lost a fight to Usyk and you're bout-less at the moment, and I'd like to give you an opportunity to fight me for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world and the lineal championship in the next few months.
"You're coming off a 12-round fight, so you're match fit, you're ready. I'm giving you a few months' notice," added the 34-year-old.
Usyk said after the fight in Jeddah that he was only interested in a bout with Fury but media reports have said he will not fight again this year in order to rest and spend time with his family.
"If you're interested I'll send you the date over and we can rumble," Fury told Joshua in the video.
"A Battle of Britain for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world. Let me know if you're interested, if not I will select another opponent."
Joshua responded saying he would be ready to fight if Fury stuck to his word.
"I don't do online discussions just for clout," Joshua wrote on an Instagram story. "So if you're really about it, shout @258mgt (Joshua's management company). I'll be ready in December."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, additional reporting by Rohith Nair; editing by Ken Ferris)