Hearn fires Joshua warning to Usyk, on board with 2019 mega-fight
Eddie Hearn is willing to pit Oleksandr Usyk in with Anthony Joshua as early as the fall of 2019.
The Matchroom boss, currently making waves on both sides of the Atlantic, is open to discussions in the coming months.
Usyk is set to relinquish his position at the top of the cruiserweight division to embark on a run at 200 pounds plus.
Victory over Tony Bellew on November 10 completely ironed out the lower limit and Hearn sees Usyk’s future with the big boys.
Urging caution to the highly talented Ukrainian, Hearn wants Usyk to be sure he’s ready for a heavyweight as skillful as Joshua.
“I’m not just diving in, I need to make sure that I prepare properly for challenges like that. I see him having two fights probably before he’s ready for Joshua at heavyweight,” Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports.
On when the fight could happen, he added: “It depends on the Wilder fight (happening with Joshua in 2019) really.
“I think if the Wilder fight doesn’t happen, then we could go (Dillian) Whyte, if he beats (Dereck) Chisora (on December 22), and then Usyk after that. But a lot depends on what Usyk wants to do, and whether he feels like he’s ready.
“I think the AJ fight is a very, very, very tough fight for Usyk. AJ is very fast, and he’s very mobile. I think Usyk will do better against slower heavyweights, who aren’t as mobile.
“But it’s going to end up being a monster fight at some point,” stated Hearn.
Joshua has fighters queuing around the block to contest his unified title belts.
Whyte seems nailed on to be first in line provided he comes through the Chisora rematch. Kubrat Pulev is the IBF mandatory challenger. Plus, Jarrell Miller has been promised a shot at AJ by Hearn for some time now.
Add to that the fact that Joshua, Wilder and Fury have unfinished business and it could be a busy period for the 2012 Olympic champion.
Joshua may be best served fighting three times a year if Wilder of Fury isn’t on the agenda soon in order to clear up a potential backlog.
For Usyk, baby steps against some also-ran contenders would be warranted before upping the class of his opposition later in 2019.