Anthony Joshua will face Oleksandr Usyk if Tyson Fury takes Deontay Wilder trilogy, confirms Eddie Hearn
Anthony Joshua will face former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk if he cannot secure the Tyson Fury fight for the first half of 2021, promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed.
Joshua has agreed a two-fight deal ‘in principle’ with Fury for two bouts next year, but those plans could be scuppered if American Deontay Wilder wins a contract dispute to take on The Gypsy King for a third time.
Therefore, if Joshua comes through Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev next month and a Fury-Wilder trilogy goes ahead in early 2021, Hearn insist the alternative for AJ is for the Brit to defend his belts against the undefeated Ukrainian.
When asked who Joshua will take on if Fury is forced into a trilogy with Wilder, Hearn told iFL TV: "Fight Usyk.
"But we want the Fury fight, I can't make that any clearer. The only fight that AJ wants if he beats Pulev is Tyson Fury."
Usyk recently retained his right to a mandatory shot at Joshua’s WBO belt after defeating Britain’s Dereck Chisora by unanimous decision last month.
Meanwhile, Fury’s promoter Bob Arum confirmed earlier this week that the WBC heavyweight champion will definitely face either Wilder or Joshua in his next fight after plans for him to return to the UK on December 5 were cancelled.
"I’ve given everyone the word. Wait until the Pulev-Joshua fight (December 12)," Arum told iFL TV. "If Pulev wins, there’s no Joshua because Eddie has a rematch with Pulev. So that takes care of a big part of next year for Joshua.
"And so that leaves Wilder as the best guy. So if Pulev beats Joshua, we’ll talk to Fury about doing the Wilder fight at the end of February.
"By the end of February, hopefully, the pandemic will be under control, and we’ll at least be able to put the [Fury vs. Wilder III] fight in Allegiant Stadium (in Las Vegas, Nevada), and do it for 15,000, 20,000 people in a 75,000 seat stadium.
"It’s all well and good for Fury to say that he wants to fight Joshua, but who knows if Joshua is going to be around after he fights my guy Pulev."