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Anthony Joshua stands eleven weeks away from career oblivion

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Anthony Joshua is three months away from a third straight defeat and the career destruction that kind of heavyweight run brings with it.

Following two losses to Oleksandr Usyk, Eddie Hearn announced that the former world champion would embark on a world tour.

It was the third time in his career that Hearn stated this would now transpire for Joshua. It’s also the third time the whole notion has never happened.

Offering a Joshua-Fury update, Joshua’s management company seems confident of a curveball move.

Anthony Joshua bouts

Joshua should be fighting Zhilei Zhang in China before potentially facing Efe Ajagba in Nigeria and ending the run with a Middle Eastern return against Andy Ruiz Jr. for a third fight.

Ruiz scored a sixth-round knockout of Joshua in New York three years ago. The DAZN star defeated an overweight Ruiz the second time they met six months later.

Former opponent Dillian Whyte has also been mentioned as a possible foe, as has American heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder.

That’s all about to fall apart, and two-time world champion Joshua’s future in the sport at the top level could go with it. A hard but true story.

AJ says he’s agreed to “all terms” laid down by WBC ruler Tyson Fury’s offer for a fight in Cardiff on December 3. If a deal gets signed after a rest due to The Queen’s passing, Joshua will be a massive outsider to defeat “The Gypsy King.”

Fury may no longer be ranked number one in the division. However, he is the lineal ruler and is the toughest test for any world-rated top-division fighter.

That scenario is why the latest developments are so dumbfounding. Joshua is either committing career suicide, cashing out his tenure in the sport, or is delusional to the point that he thinks he can beat Fury on the back of two devastating losses.

It’s no secret that Joshua lacks confidence, especially in the last month. His mental focus has also come into question after his post-fight tantrum in the Usyk rematch on Sky Sports Box Office.

Fury vs Joshua – Battle of Britain

Nonetheless, it seems Joshua wants to face Fury next. He agreed on a deal last Friday. But whoever made that final decision needs some profound understanding of how careers work.

To go into the biggest fight of his life with everything on the line, Joshua needs to be on a winning run. Or, at the very least, have had his hand raised in his last fight.

Facing the wrath of Fury, a man who’s waited his whole pugilistic life to get his hands on the rival he labels “a stiff bodybuilder,” was always going to be a hard match for Joshua.

But to do it now with your resolve and spirit shot to pieces can only end badly for Joshua. Joshua only has a slight puncher’s chance for the third straight battle running.

We all know how that went in the previous two efforts. The ex-WBA, IBF, and WBO ruler only had to read the boxing headline previews of the Usyk fight to realize he couldn’t outbox the Ukrainian and had to go straight for the jugular.

Who defeated Anthony Joshua last?

Doing the same thing twice a row shows that Joshua wasn’t ready for Usyk in London or Saudi Arabia. He certainly isn’t prepared for Tyson Fury on the back of that.

Joshua probably has four rounds left of his career at the top level if he is cashing out. Four rounds to put it all on Fury in a British showdown and go for it at the end of the year.

Therefore, if Fury’s team and the promoters at Frank Warren and Matchroom Boxing can cement the fight this winter without the aid of a rematch at Wembley in April, he better make the most of those twelve short minutes.

The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.

WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Facebook @officialworldboxingnews and Twitter @worldboxingnews.