Anthony Joshua won’t face Tyson Fury after Kubrat Pulev should the British four-belt world heavyweight champion prevail in 2020.
World Boxing News has been shouting it from the rooftops for some time now. In what is a first since a ‘Fury fight deal agreement,’ Joshua’s TV network boss has admitted Oleksandr Usyk is likely to follow.
Usyk is the WBO mandatory challenger, meaning AJ would risk losing a strap if he attempted to face Fury before then.
The winner of the recently-announced Halloween showdown between Usyk and Derek Chisora is basically in a semi-final tournament with Joshua vs. Pulev.
WBN has been pushing the world heavyweight tournament for months. Sky Head of Boxing Adam Smith has finally put Joshua and Usyk in the same sentence for a fight shortly.
“A potential fight with Unified Champion Anthony Joshua is already within Usyk’s grasp,” declared Smith when confirming the Chisora fight. The keyword there being ‘already.’
Nevermind Fury, Joshua, and Usyk are with the same promoter, so have probably ‘already’ agreed terms to fight in the first five or six months of 2021.
Continuing on the possibility of Chisora causing a massive upset to steal a shot at Joshua for himself, Smith added: “Chisora has big ambitions of his own.
“With David Haye by his side, could we see the battle-hardened Brit pull off a stunning upset? Usyk against Chisora has all the ingredients for a Heavyweight classic!”
On Usyk vs. Chisora, Smith is predicting fireworks on All Hallows’ Eve.
“Ukrainian star Usyk has already showcased his sublime skills on these shores in that dramatic battle with Tony Bellew,” pointed out Smith.
“While Derek Chisora has rejuvenated his career since teaming up with his former foe David Haye,” he added.
Extra incentive, if Chisora needed any, is what would be a massive all British world title clash with Joshua. Subject to WBO approval due to Usyk’s previous status at 200 pounds.
For Usyk, the hot favorite, Joshua would lie in wait. Provided he can come through the dangerous Bulgarian Pulev. Two potentially hard slogs for the champion.
Getting to the other side of those will be tough enough before Joshua can move anywhere near underdog status against ‘The Gypsy King.’