What next for Joshua, who will he fight, what are his mandatory challengers, how much could he earn for taking on Tyson Fury?
Anthony Joshua defeated Kubrat Pulev on November 12 at Wembley Arena, and the thoughts of everyone in British sport turned to the prospect of Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury. A bout between the pair would be the first time that all four belts have been on the line in a world heavyweight title contest.
Who will Anthony Joshua’s next opponent be?
According to ESPN reports, Fury and Joshua have signed a two-fight deal to unify the IBF, WBO, WBA and WBC heavyweight titles.
In what will rank alongside the great showdowns of modern sport, the two-fight deal will unify the world heavyweight titles and crown an undisputed champion. Both fights are likely to take place this year, in June or July and then November or December.
Telegraph Sport understands the deal could be worth £200 million with the two parties having agreed 28 days ago that that sites had to be finalised by Sunday April 11.
Where will the first fight take place?
Tyson Fury announced on Friday that he had “offers on the table” to fight Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight crown and would be looking through them and making a decision on Sunday.
Fury, leaving for Las Vegas to go into training camp – said: “Just had some big news. Three or four offers on the table, interest from Saudi Arabia, my gypsy brothers in Qatar, Uzbekistan, Russia, America, England, there’s some big, big offers on the table and I’m going to go through them on Sunday. Hopefully we will get this big fight on – and I’ll smash this big dosser! Big useless dosser, should I say, because when I get him, I’m going to give it to him.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn has cited Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, China, London and Las Vegas among potential host locations in recent weeks. The prospect of England holding the fight, however, at Wembley Stadium has been dampened by apparent concerns around the Government’s roadmap towards fully releasing lockdown
Are there any complicating factors?
Of course, because this is heavyweight boxing. Joshua may have a mandatory obligation first. He had to fight Pulev as he was the IBF mandatory challenger; Joshua also holds the WBA and WBO titles and the WBO’s mandatory challenger would be Oleksandr Usyk.
Will Joshua fight Usyk first?
Probably not. Usyk is also managed by Hearn, who will not want to delay a fight against Fury. However, if Fury decides to take a tune-up bout before facing Joshua, that delay could give Joshua the time to face Usyk. Another option for Joshua is that he vacates the WBO title, making way for his stablemate.
Usyk is a dangerous customer, a southpaw, and Joshua would not be able to take him lightly. He’s small and has come up from cruiserweight so Joshua should be able to bully him, but Usyk is a talented boxer.
Eddie Hearn explains the Usyk situation…
“If we get the Fury fight made, we are going to be applying to the WBO to make that undisputed and if they say no we have to go to Usyk and try to make a deal. If we can’t make the Fury fight for any reason, then we will fight Usyk 100 per cent. They’re kind of waiting to see what happens.”
What obligations does Tyson Fury have?
No mandatory but there is still an ongoing situation with Deontay Wilder. Although it seems unlikely that Wilder could get in the way of Joshua and Fury there is a possibility of the Wilder-Fury trilogy fight in the spring in which case Joshua might take on Usyk.