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Anthony Joshua hopes to join Roger Federer as a sporting icon

Anthony Joshua is eyeing-up unification fights after defending his heavyweight titles against Carlos Takam. Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Anthony Joshua has expressed his desire to emulate tennis star Roger Federer as he looks to establish himself as a sporting icon.

Joshua, who currently holds the WBA Super and IBF world heavyweight titles, is aiming to follow in the footsteps of the 19-time Grand Slam winner by unifying all heavyweight belts and becoming a sporting icon.

On the subject of his current status in the sport, Joshua told Sky Sports: "I do understand now, I have to play the game, if I want to create a legacy.

"I think I understand now, everything I have to gain and everything I have to lose.

"I've never played a role," he admitted. "But look at the likes of Muhammad Ali, who became a sporting icon.

"Before I was happy to just be a part of boxing, and felt wherever I get to, it was always better than where I started. I never had a minute to reflect.

"But now I want to stamp my mark and my legacy, and be among the likes of Federer."

The 28-year-old also recognised that the way he conducts himself as a professional boxer would be important if he was to to take his place among the modern sporting greats.

"If I want to be considered like these guys, I have to carry myself the right way," the 2012 Olympic gold medalist added.

"I want to be like the Ronaldos, Messis, Federers who compete with Nadal, Murray. That's where I want to take boxing.

"There's a lot of clowns in my industry, jealousy and negativity. I swerve them."

Joshua, who beat Carlos Takam by TKO on Oct. 28, is currently in the process of organising who he will fight in 2018, and reiterated his desire to face both WBO champ Joseph Parker and WBC belt-holder Deontay WIlder.

"The situation with Parker, we have presented an offer to them, and we'll patiently wait," he continued.

"I want to be the undisputed champion of the world, and to do that I must fight Wilder and Parker."

Neither fighter has held back in their criticisms of Joshua throughout the ongoing negotiation process, leading to a series of aggressive exchanges with the Brit on social media.

"With Wilder -- who said I'm running scared -- the same situation, and we've been talking with his team.

"We staged a fight with one of the all-time greats, Wladimir Klitschko, and staged a fantastic fight at Wembley, where we put our egos and demands to one side.

"But I just don't know where Parker and Wilder's mindsets are and what they want. I just think they have poor PR management."

Joshua also welcomed the prospect of a matchup with Tyson Fury upon his expected return to the ring, but only on the condition that the 29-year-old is successful in his efforts to get in shape.

"It is a fight I would like to see but the ball's in his court -- he has to get fit.

"When he's ready, we'll open the doors, and if he walks through, we'll welcome him."