Anthony Joshua defeated Kubrat Pulev on November 12 at Wembley Arena, and the thoughts of everyone in British sport turned to the prospect of Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury. A bout between the pair would be the first time that all four belts have been on the line in a world heavyweight title contest.
Who will Anthony Joshua’s next opponent be?
The expectation is that Anthony Joshua will fight Tyson Fury in 2021 as part of a two-fight deal being brokered between Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport and Fury’s promoter Bob Arum.
Where will the first fight take place?
It seems almost certain that the first leg of Joshua vs Fury will happen in Saudi Arabia, and it seems most likely that this will be Joshua’s next engagement.
Are there any complicating factors?
Of course, because this is heavyweight boxing. Joshua may have a mandatory obligation first. He had to fight Pulev as he was the IBF mandatory challenger; Joshua also holds the WBA and WBO titles and the WBO’s mandatory challenger would be Oleksandr Usyk.
Will Joshua fight Usyk first?
Probably not. Usyk is also managed by Hearn, who will not want to delay a fight against Fury. However, if Fury decides to take a tune-up bout before facing Joshua, that delay could give Joshua the time to face Usyk. Another option for Joshua is that he vacates the WBO title, making way for his stablemate.
Usyk is a dangerous customer, a southpaw, and Joshua would not be able to take him lightly. He’s small and has come up from cruiserweight so Joshua should be able to bully him, but Usyk is a talented boxer.
Eddie Hearn explains the Usyk situation…
“If we get the Fury fight made, we are going to be applying to the WBO to make that undisputed and if they say no we have to go to Usyk and try to make a deal. If we can’t make the Fury fight for any reason, then we will fight Usyk 100 per cent. They’re kind of waiting to see what happens.”