Anthony Joshua has said that if he were to bet on it, he’d back Oleksandr Usyk to be his next opponent after Kubrat Pulev, rather than Tyson Fury.
The unified heavyweight champion is set to defend his titles against his Bulgarian IBF mandatory challenger on December 12, and is then eyeing an undisputed fight with WBC king Fury.
However, the spectre of WBO mandatory Usyk is also looming and – despite all talk indicating Fury is the main target – AJ thinks it’s more likely he’ll end up facing the Ukrainian in 2021.
Joshua told ESPN: “When I look at Fury, great talent, but I don’t know whether he’s coming or going.
“I don’t know if he’s going to fight [Deontay] Wilder, or if he’s not going to fight Wilder.
“If he’s going to fight [Agit] Kabayel, or if he’s not going to fight Kabayel.
“He announced he was going to fight me, then the deal didn’t get signed and we’re not fighting.
“Then you have got Usyk and he seems to be just straight.
“You hear he is fighting Derek Chisora and he fights him.
“You hear he is fighting [Chazz] Witherspoon and he fights him.
“I go off people who are serious.
“If Fury is serious and keen then the fight will happen.
“Honestly, I’m keen to test myself.
“He’s supposed to have the real boxing IQ, so it’s going to be a really good challenge.
“I’m keen to compete with him, no problem.
“But whether he’s ready, that’s a whole other story because of the issues he faces during his career.
“I don’t know what will happen in 2021 but if I was to bet all my money on it I would say Usyk because he is with Matchroom, straightforward fight, and his track record shows when he says he is going to fight someone, he does.”