British legend Ricky Hatton has called for Anthony Joshua to allow Oleksandr Usyk to fight Tyson Fury for the undisputed title next.
Joshua lost to Usyk with a whimper on Saturday night, but as always, insisted on a rematch clause to give him the chance to win the belts back.
Now, just days after the disaster, Hatton joined Top Rank Hall of Famer Bob Arum in stating AJ should step aside.
Hatton also blasted the stipulation inserted into the contract. He believes it will only serve to delay Usyk vs. Fury for longer.
“I think it is too early to judge whether Joshua should take the rematch immediately. Go away, have a little rest, speak to his team and go from there,” Hatton said in his latest Metro column.
“Only AJ knows himself. He might turn around in a few months and say: ‘Listen, I might feel a little better if I have a little warm-up fight first, a little confidence booster.’
“I know why rematch clauses are in place because there is so much money at stake. But they are ruining the game. It is putting fights we want to see further and further away. Before you know it, the fights we want won’t happen because these rematch clauses back everything up.
“For us as boxing fans, we don’t know what clauses are in the contract. What has and hasn’t been agreed. We have just got to sit back and see what happens.
“Maybe Tyson Fury can go straight into the Usyk fight if he gets past Deontay Wilder next week?
“AJ can have a warm-up fight to get his confidence back on the understanding that if Tyson beats Usyk or Usyk beats Tyson, AJ gets the first crack at the winner.
“That as a boxing fan is a sensible thing and the obvious thing to do.”
RICKY HATTON SKEPTIKAL
On whether Joshua will take his advice, Hatton added: “Will it happen? Maybe, maybe not.
“This is boxing. We never know what has been agreed. It was the case that AJ and Fury were the top men.
“Now it is Fury and Usyk. Let them fight, and AJ can try to redeem himself against the winner.”