Anthony Joshua has admitted he would be willing to drop the WBO heavyweight title in order to secure his two-fight deal with Tyson Fury.
The unified champion dealt with IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev in clinical fashion at the SSE Arena in Wembley before Christmas to end his 12-month ring exile.
After stopping the veteran Bulgarian thanks to a nine-round mauling, the Brit then reaffirmed his desire to become undisputed world heavyweight champion.
On paper, it looks simple; fight WBC champion Fury twice in 2021 and potentially set a trilogy bout to appease fans and end the argument as to who is the best heavyweight of this generation.
But boxing politics looks set to once again wreak havoc with those plans as WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, who is also signed with Matchroom Boxing, has voiced his desire to face AJ for the world titles.
However, the 31-year-old from Watford is so confident of beating Fury in both their scheduled blockbuster bouts, he is willing to drop the WBO belt and then return after beating “The Gypsy King”.
“Will people care if I have to lose a belt to Usyk? Will I have to give one up? I am not too sure yet,” he told The Sun.
“I don’t want to, because it is ‘the road to undisputed’. But I know that, when I win, I will go back and fight for that belt anyway — that will be my goal.
“I want to fight Fury, beat him again in the rematch — two difficult hurdles, serious fights — then I will go straight back to try to fight for that title again.”