Anthony Joshua is hoping to face Deontay Wilder in 2019 before lining up a mandatory clash with Oleksandr Usyk.
Despite having a potential order from the IBF to battle number one Kubrat Pulev this year, Joshua could ask for an exception to unify against Wilder.
The IBF would almost certainly say yes to any plea. Although the Usyk plan may prove a little more difficult to bear fruit.
Joshua would have to agree to fight Pulev next in order to gain the exemption in the first place. This means Usyk would be off the menu until after the Bulgarian.
Any such outcome could be good for Usyk. It’ll give the Ukrainian a little more time to acclimatize to the weight. The former cruiserweight king has just secured his debut against Carlos Takam for next month.
Speaking on his plans, Joshua hopes to take care of Jarrell Miller on June 1 before opening talks with his American rival.
“I think it will be class if I can fight Wilder for the undisputed title. Then I could fight Usyk. Because then that would be the undisputed heavyweight champion versus the undisputed cruiserweight champion at heavyweight. That would be unbelievable,” Joshua explained hopefully to Sky Sports.
Giving a prediction on Wilder’s next bout. A stipulated WBC encounter with Dominic Breazeale, Joshua added: “I think Breazeale could cause Wilder some problems.
“It will be interesting to see him if Wilder can match him in boxing skill.
“They’re both decent boxers. Breazeale is an Olympian but Wilder is just very quick. If he catches Breazeale early it might be lights out as we have seen his last 40-odd fights,” he concluded.
With the IBF serial sticklers when it comes to their fighters getting a timely opportunity, Usyk will almost certainly have to wait until later in 2020.
By then, the WBA would also expect their next in line to be given a shot, with three current fighters in the frame.
Trevor Bryan, Joe Joyce and Mahmoud Charr (formerly Manuel) are all jockeying for position.