Is Anthony Joshua replacing Tyson Fury in rearranged bout with Oleksandr Usyk?

Joshua is also preparing for an undisputed fight by beating former UFC champion Francis Ngannou next month

By Web Desk
February 12, 2024
Fury and Usyk, were initially set to clash for the undisputed belts this Saturday but Fury had to withdraw from the fight due to a cut above his right eye - EPA/AFP

Anthony Joshua is ready to contend for the undisputed heavyweight world titles should Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk withdraw from their rearranged bout.

The heavyweight champions, Fury and Usyk, were initially set to clash for the undisputed belts this Saturday. However, Fury had to withdraw from the fight due to a cut above his right eye, just 10 days before the scheduled date.

The bout has now been rescheduled for May 18, and Turki AlAlshikh, a Saudi royal advisor, has pledged to impose a £10 million fine on Fury or Usyk if they are unable to participate on the new date.

Joshua aims to secure an undisputed fight by defeating former UFC champion Francis Ngannou next month. Eddie Hearn, the boss of Matchroom Boxing, has acknowledged that 'AJ' will probably have to overcome both Ngannou and Filip Hrgovic for a chance at undisputed. However, Hearn asserts that the Brit is prepared to vie for all four belts at this moment.

"We'll be ready. The amazing thing with Anthony is he will be boxing four times in 11 months, which has been brilliant for him. It's so refreshing for his career after so many periods of inactivity through Covid and dealing with big stadium fights and mandatory obligations and people messing around," Hearn told talkSPORT.

"He will need a rest at some point, but if he comes through Ngannou well and that opportunity presented itself, I would think he'd be ready to fight Fury or Usyk."

A two-way rematch clause in Fury and Usyk's fight means Joshua is unlikely to get an undisputed shot until next year.

Meanwhile, Hearn wouldn't be surprised if AlAlshikh scraps plans of Fury and Usyk's second fight if the Brit wins.

"When the biggest fight in the history of the sport is in front of you to make I'm sure as hell find a way to keep everybody happy and make that fight but it's irrelevant right now," he told iFL TV.

“The timing worked perfectly for AJ to stop Ngannou and for Fury to win. We appreciate there’s this fight and this rematch, but you know how things are going to go. Come on, you know how His Excellency moves. We need that fight to happen and now that fight is happening two months after our fight. So it sounds more likely that if AJ if triumphant will fight Filip Hrgovic for a world title."

Comments