Anthony Joshua’s next fight could still be against Tyson Fury, believes promoter Eddie Hear, who says all options are on the table amid the chaos the coronavirus pandemic has caused.
Joshua is currently scheduled to defend his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev on 20 June at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, however, the chances of that happening are slim to none.
Meanwhile, Fury is set to meet Deontay Wilder for a third time after the Bronze Bomber invoked a trilogy clause in his contract following his spectacular stoppage loss to the Gypsy King in February for the WBC and Ring belts.
There appears to be some serious roadblocks to Joshua and Fury fighting next, but Hearn feels that it is still a possibility, with any summer fights unlikely to happen and that pushing the need for the biggest bouts possible to be made at the end of the year.
An all-British clash for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, would certainly be the biggest fight possible, not just in the division, but the entire sport, and Hearn is hoping to turn the coronavirus nightmare to his advantage.
‘The one positive that could come out of this for boxing is you might find people jumping into bigger fights sooner, rather than later, because of course, their activity has been slowed,’ Hearn told Sky Sports.
‘Their financial gain has been slowed as well, and it probably makes them realise anything can happen – “we need to make sure we get this fight in and I need to define my legacy”.
Creating Joshua vs Fury next would involve paying both Pulev and Wilder to step aside from their contracted fights. Hearn believes this to be possible, although the American may take more persuading that the Bulgarian.
The likeliest course of action still remains AJ to meet the Cobra, but if postponements take that fight beyond the summer, Fury becomes a serious possibility.
‘If it starts kicking on beyond that [July], then you get to a situation where if Joshua is only going to box once this year, he would very much like that to be against Tyson Fury.
‘If it was possible and there was a way to make Kubrat Pulev wait, which I think is probably an easier job, then for sure, I think Anthony Joshua would be extremely interested in moving straight into the Tyson Fury fight.
‘I think in an ideal world, we have that fight next.
‘It’s always been the case, but if we can fight Kubrat Pulev in July, we’d love to fight Tyson Fury in November, December.
‘At the same time, I think there’s so much uncertainty at the moment, this is the kind of situation that might make people say – “I think now is the time”‘.
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