Oleksandr Usyk looks to be next for Anthony Joshua.
Eddie Hearn told talkSPORT the heavyweight clash will take place on September 18 or 25 and either at Wembley or Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
AJ’s friend and cruiserweight legend Tony Bellew ended his career losing to Usyk as the Ukrainian continued to unify the division.
Now that he’s made the switch to heavyweight, he has beaten Dereck Chisora by unanimous decision and finds himself the mandatory challenger to the WBO.
Speaking to talkSPORT at Matchroom Boxing’s Fight Camp launch, Bellew explained why he thought Joshua, the best athletic heavyweight of the past two decades, would be too much for Usyk.
“I know exactly how good Usyk is. He’s an incredible talent. Best fighter I have ever fought. But I don’t think he’s big enough and dangerous enough to cause problems for AJ.
“Well he’s big enough to cause him problems, I don’t think he would last long enough to beat him.” But, he will cause trouble while he is standing and he is [AJ] going to have to get rid of it. He’ll put the pressure on him, make him pay for whatever he earns in this.
“AJ is the best athletic heavyweight I’ve seen in the past two decades. As an athlete, mate, he’s amazing. He’s an amazing specimen, really. The power he can move at. , the speed at which it can move, the dexterity; it’s amazing.
“He’s on a different level than everyone else. He just needs to keep improving his boxing IQ, which he is. He showed it against Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch. How amazing he was.
“In Pulev’s fight he went back a bit and showed the old things he was doing and how he broke big men with speed that matters.
“But then he still has to show something different against Oleksandr Usyk. He will have to box from time to time, put the pressure and he will also have to get hit.
“So he’s going to have to show different things that he hasn’t done in his career so far, but then again he’s always improving, always getting better and it’s just fantastic to see,” Bellew said. .
Of course, that’s the running argument when discussing AJ against Tyson Fury.
AJ has the physique and athletic ability, in addition to a hard punch. Fury is the smart boxer with a serious IQ who can make things awkward and difficult for anyone.
Fury takes on Deontay Wilder on July 24 in Las Vegas. If he wins and Joshua beats Usyk a few months later, the undisputed heavyweight title fight must resume and that is certainly the goal for both sides.