Anthony Joshua doubts a fight with Tyson Fury will now happen, according to Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
Talks to stage Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) and Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), who between them hold all four major world heavyweight titles, this summer collapsed last month due to arbitration which ruled Fury owes Deontay Wilder a third fight next.
Hearn is now in advanced discussions for WBA-IBF-WBO champion Joshua to face Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisupted world cruiserweight champion who has had two fights as a heavyweight, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium or Wembley Stadium, both in London, on Sept. 18 or 25.
WBC champion Fury is set to face American Wilder in Las Vegas on July 24, but Hearn says Joshua is not confident the £200 million fight can happen at a later date.
“He never felt they wanted the fight, he never felt like Fury wanted it,” Hearn said.
“AJ, in his head, probably thinks the fight will never happen. I would like to be more hopeful and I think it will happen.
“If AJ knocks out Usyk and Fury knocks out Wilder then, in four months’ time, we are talking about an even bigger fight.
“One could lose or look bad but I do get the feeling if they both win then the fight is huge. I am hoping it works out for the best.”
Usyk is the WBO mandatory challenger, and Joshua must face him next if he wants to keep hold of the WBO title now that a Fury fight is off.