Anthony Joshua tells Tyson Fury he will be ‘ready in December’ for title fight
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Eddie Hearn affirms that Anthony Joshua could fight the winner of Deontay Wilder vs Andy Ruiz Jr for the WBC strap if it is vacated. WBC title-holder Tyson Fury and unified champion Oleksandr Usyk (WBA, WBO, IBF) have been in negotiations to stage the first undisputed heavyweight unification clash of the four-belt era for February or March next year.
However, with the winner of the historic clash having to possibly face mandatory challengers from all four sanctioning bodies, the Matchroom Boxing chief expects the heavyweight landscape to look very different in the next year.
And that could benefit Joshua who is ranked within the top five of each of the major body’s rankings; No5 WBO, No4 IBF, No5 WBC, No4 WBA. Hearn is doing all he can to ensure his man gets himself back into the world title picture as quickly as possible and sees a gap with the WBC.
Wilder and Ruiz Jr face each other in a WBC final eliminator and Hearn believes the Watford powerhouse could be in a primed position to face the winner if all goes to plan.
Speaking to the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel, he said: “So now it’s about positioning yourself, Dillian Whyte, AJ of course, into a shot at the world heavyweight title.
“AJ could be fighting the winner of Wilder – Ruiz for the WBC world heavyweight title, could be fighting Filip Hrgovic.
“Dillian Whyte could be fighting Joe Joyce for the WBO world title. There’s all kinds of eventualities. But the pressure will come from the mandatories, that’s just natural when there’s a unified and in this case potentially undisputed champion.”
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Usyk and Fury’s four-belt shootout could see a hefty delay, however, with the IBF recently ordering the Ukrainian to face mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic next. Often when a mandatory fight is called that blocks a major unification clash, the champion can request an exception from a sanctioning body to delay the order. However, the IBF are very strong on pushing their mandatories and placing the final decision in their No1 contender’s hands.
Hrgovic has opted out of negotiating a step-aside fee and requested an immediate purse bid which overrides any requests from the champion’s side. Giving an update on the ongoing situation, Hearn continued: “Obviously Usyk’s team and Fury’s team, particularly Usyk’s team will do everything they can to avoid Filip Hrgovic for now because they’d like to make the big fight with Tyson Fury.
“For us it’s difficult because obviously we have a job to do for Filip Hrgovic but we also know the Saudi team very well, who have been working very hard to the undisputed fight.
“So, I’ve spoken to them, who obviously had their concerns and for boxing, that fight is very important. But also, Filip Hrgovic is mandatory so I’m sure there will be a resolution.
“Now they’re talking about the chronological situation of perhaps the WBA mandatory as well, which I think is Daniel Dubois. This is just what happens when there’s unified and undisputed fights. But I’m sure that it will get worked out.”
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