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Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and the road to an undisputed world champion

Joshua and Fury are no closer to fighting after the former was beaten by Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night – and may now never meet in the ring

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Anthony Joshua ready to do ‘it all again’ after loss to Oleksandr Usyk

Two hours after his second professional defeat, Anthony Joshua was quick to claim he would fight Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder without a belt on the line.

Of course he would, he uttered those words after his silverware had been ripped from him by an Oleksandr Usyk masterclass.

But among the debris from his crushing loss was the question of whether he will ever touch gloves with his British rival.

The £200million mega-fight that was always mere hours away from being announced could now be consigned to history.

Of course, the simple way to put it back on track is for Joshua to avenge his defeat by Usyk when they meet again early next year.

But putting to one side the obvious caveat that the Brit will be a heavy underdog, even winning back his belts might not be enough.

By the time Joshua and Usyk walk to the ring again, Dillian Whyte will no doubt have made his case – again – for a shot at the winner of Fury’s trilogy bout with Wilder.



Oleksandr Usyk with his new belts
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Image:

Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing)




Everyone knows the Londoner has waited a lifetime for a crack at the WBC title and remains in pole position having avenged his defeat by Alexander Povetkin.

It is hard to see the sanctioning body finding another way to delay Whyte’s claim.

But if Joshua and Fury emerge unscathed from their respective fights at around the same time, talk will once again turn to a summer showdown in London/Saudi Arabia/Las Vegas/Macau…

More likely is that Usyk completes the double over Joshua and Fury – assuming he beats Wilder – outclasses Whyte to set up an intriguing, if potentially boring, meeting between two of the sport’s great technicians.

That fight should be easy enough to make by bringing it to a stadium here in the UK.

There are other issues to consider however.

Joe Joyce has already staked his claim for a shot at Usyk as the WBO’s No.1 contender but given the Ukrainian was Joshua’s mandatory challenger, another is unlikely to be ordered any time soon.



We may never see Anthony Joshua take on Tyson Fury




The WBA could be more of a problem as they carry out a belated clean-up of their divisions in a bid to crown one champion per weight class.

Trevor Bryan remains their ‘regular’ champion with Daniel Dubois stripped of his ‘interim’ belt and the two are likely to meet next.

That could lead to a fight being called between the winner and Usyk which would require some negotiation.

The IBF will also be in a position to call a mandatory next year with Kubrat Pulev the last man to earn his shot via that route when he was stopped by Joshua last year.

But with no No.1 contender, there might be some wiggle room to avoid that until the second half of 2022.

And of course, Wilder could land the right hand from hell next month to set up his own showdown with Usyk next year.

The safest bet, then, is not to bet at all.


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