Anthony Joshua is set to enter talks about stepping aside to allow
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk to contest the undisputed heavyweight
title early next year.
Fury holds the WBC heavyweight crown, having defeated Deontay Wilder
in Las Vegas on Oct 9, while Joshua lost the IBF, WBA and WBO belts
after being outboxed by the Ukrainian Usyk, who claimed a points
victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sept 25.
Joshua initially opted for an immediate rematch clause in a bid to
regain the titles, with promoter Eddie Hearn indicating that the fight
was likely to happen in March or April.
However, the 32-year-old has admitted he would consider stepping aside
to allow Usyk to fight WBC title holder Fury and crown a four-belt
world champion. Frank Warren, Fury’s UK promoter, revealed yesterday
ahead of the light-heavyweight fight between Anthony Yarde and Lyndon
Arthur tonight that talks had been opened behind the scenes.
“Everybody wants to see him [Fury] and Usyk,” Warren said. “That’s
what we want to see. AJ, in his interview last week – which was a
little confusing – is basically saying ‘If I get the right money I’ll
step aside’. So that’s really where we’ve got to get to as the Tyson
Fury team. We’re all working hard to make that happen, and it just may
“And if it does, then Tyson will meet him [Usyk] and the four belts
will be on the line. And I hope that’s going to be the case.
“If it doesn’t for any reason, then we’ve got to move to Plan B, and
Plan B will be to fight here in the UK in March against an opponent
that Tyson feels comfortable with.”
Warren told Talksport: “Obviously there are conversations going on,
but that will have a limit of time when suddenly it’s either going to
happen or it’s not. I don’t think everybody’s going to be waiting
around for that.
“But I’m quite positive and feel positive that there is between
everybody a will to get it done.”
” Joshua had given an interview to IFL TV earlier this week,
explaining that he was “considering” his options and what made sense
next as he assembles a new training staff after the defeat by Usyk.
Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, said that he is yet to discuss the possible
move for the London heavyweight, which would likely afford him the
opportunity to fight the victor, which would complicate negotiations.
Fury told The Daily Telegraph yesterday: “I don’t care who I fight
next, but I would school Usyk. For me, it comes down to what fight
makes sense next; Usyk has the belts, and Joshua has the draw.
“Joshua and me is a fight the public would like to see. The rest [of
the division] are really on a different level.”