Reports Anthony Joshua is ready to turn to Oleksandr Usyk in his quest to fight a big name on April 13 have surfaced this week.
Eddie Hearn’s promotional rival Frank Warren has stated Joshua is ready to ditch best-laid plans to fight the winner of Dillian Whyte v Dereck Chisora.
Upon witnessing Saturday’s awesome Fight of the Year clash between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, Joshua announced an offer to face either at Wembley next spring.
Wilder v Fury 2 is already in the works for the summer. This means Joshua faces being left out in the cold.
Joshua is staring at the possibility of defending his belts against what Wilder described recently as ‘second-tier’ opponents.
For now, two of the world’s best will continue their rivalry, something which is not ideal for Joshua’s reputation.
Warren, on the other hand, sees Usyk as an easy option for the Watford man.
“I am now hearing Joshua’s next opponent for April 13 is not going to be Dillian Whyte. It will be Oleksandr Usyk, let them get on with it,” Warren said, according to talkSPORT.
“I know why they want to fight Usyk. He is a smaller guy and not much of a puncher,” he added.
Egis Klimas, manager of Usyk, has since denied the comments. He says the Ukrainian will need at least one or two tune-up fights to acclimatize to 200 pounds plus.
Usyk cleaned up the lower limit in 2018 with victories over Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew. These positioned him as one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world.
Despite being one of the best technical fighters out there, Bellew did show there are evident vulnerabilities which Joshua, for one, certainly could exploit.
Mr. ‘I am Feel’ would need to take on an also-ran contender before stepping in with one of the bigger and ranked heavies out there. In order to fully prepare for someone like Joshua.
Unified top division king Joshua has waged a path of destruction since turning pro on the back of Olympic gold in 2012. He’s looked largely unstoppable thus far in his career apart from a blip against Wladimir Klitschko.
And even though Joshua v Usyk is one of the most attractive encounters on the table, it’s thought the PPV blockbuster is at least one year away.