HEAVYWEIGHT champ Anthony Joshua has made the shock announcement he will retire within five years.
The WBA, WBO and IBF title holder heads into arguably the most significant year of his illustrious career.
Joshua, 31, is braced for a double-header of fights with British rival Tyson Fury to determine who will be crowned undisputed king.
And while his sole focus is adding the Gypsy King's WBC belt to his collection, AJ can't help but look towards the future.
He told Sky Sports: "This isn't the start of my career. I'm coming towards the end of my career.
"I'm not someone who lives in the moment and thinks that everything is just like for now.
"I'm always planning ahead so I'm coming towards the end of my career.
"Five years left and that's basically an Olympic cycle. I've got an Olympic cycle and a little bit more left, so when you see the next Olympics happen is when I'll be coming to the end of my career and the next generation will be coming through."
AJ was a late bloomer in boxing having taken up the sport aged 18 in North London.
His breakthrough moment arrived in 2011 when he took silver at the World Championships and qualified for the London Olympics the following year.
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Joshua would take home the gold medal and hasn't looked back since – winning 24 of his 25 bouts since turning professional in 2013.
His fierce rival Fury, 32, turned professional five years before Joshua and has 31 fights to his name – winning 30 and drawing against Deontay Wilder.
And Joshua believes Fury should also start considering retirement in the near future.
He added: "Fury has been professional much longer than me. He should be looking to retire soon.
"If he wants to cement his legacy, I'm here and ready. I've built myself into this position."
Fury has indicated in the past he plans to go on for some time, using former champ Wladimir Klitschko as a bench mark.
Fury said: "Klitschko did it until he was 40.
"A lot of the great champions are continuing, and continuing. I ain’t boxing for money, I ain’t boxing for fame, I ain’t boxing for a belt. I’m boxing because it keeps me mentally happy and I like to do it.
"Nothing to prove to anybody. Not one thing to prove at all, but I box now, because I love boxing and I’ve been doing it all my life. Why walk away when I’m still only young?"
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn revealed last month that the AJ and Fury are close to agreeing a match-up in May or June with talks 'progressing really well'.
Though he believes that the eagerly-awaited contest is likely to take place outside of the UK due to the latest coronavirus lockdown.
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