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Anthony Joshua WOULD relinquish WBO belt with a purpose to combat Tyson Fury subsequent 12 months, admits Eddie Hearn

Anthony Joshua WOULD relinquish his WBO title in order to fight Tyson Fury next year, admits promoter Eddie Hearn… but priority is to ‘maintain all his belts and become undisputed heavyweight champion’

  • Anthony Joshua’s next fight will be against Kubrat Pulev later this year
  • But AJ may then have to take on Oleksandr Usyk, should he beat Dereck Chisora
  • Yet Eddie Hearn says that AJ could give up his WBO belt to fight Tyson Fury first
  • Fury himself needs to beat Deontay Wilder in a trilogy fight before facing Joshua

Anthony Joshua would notably vacate his WBO belt if that meant a fight with Tyson Fury was easier to facilitate, says his promoter Eddie Hearn. 

AJ is currently next scheduled to face mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev later this year, but may then have to fight Oleksandr Usyk before an all-British clash with Fury can materialise. 

The Gypsy King himself needs to defeat Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight too, but with a two-fight ‘financial agreement’ already in place between Joshua and Fury, a mega all-British heavyweight bout could be on the horizon in 2021, whether all the belts are on the line or not. 

Anthony Joshua could vacate his heavyweight belt to accelerate a fight with Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua could vacate his heavyweight belt to accelerate a fight with Tyson Fury

Currently a bout against Fury would be to crown the undisputed world heavyweight champion

Currently a bout against Fury would be to crown the undisputed world heavyweight champion

Questioned on the dilemma of the WBO belt, Hearn told Boxing Social: ‘There’s been a lot of talk about “give up the belt,” but the aim for Anthony Joshua is to be the undisputed heavyweight champion. 

‘Will a belt get in the way of him fighting Tyson Fury next? Probably not. Will he vacate a belt and fight Tyson Fury next? Yes, I believe he would if he had to, but would he rather maintain all the belts? One million percent.

‘I know Tyson Fury has said, “I already had all the belts.” I know, but you’ve never been undisputed. I hope that means something to people because it means a lot to Anthony Joshua if we get to a position where AJ is fighting Fury regardless of whether the WBO allows their title to be on the line.

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn says AJ's priority is to keep hold of all his heavyweight belts

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says AJ’s priority is to keep hold of all his heavyweight belts 

‘It’s almost like I want to go to Usyk and say, “Look, we’re going to vacate the title, but can we vacate it the day after the fight?”‘

Unbeaten Ukrainian Usyk will be the WBO mandatory challenger should he beat Dereck Chisora in their fight on October 31. 

Though Joshua would take on Usyk, Hearn made it clear that the AJ-Fury matchup is the clash the boxing world wants to see.  

Oleksandr Usyk (left) will be WBO mandatory challenger should he defeat Dereck Chisora

Oleksandr Usyk (left) will be WBO mandatory challenger should he defeat Dereck Chisora 

‘Right now, the only way we can determine who the best heavyweight in the world is by AJ fighting Tyson Fury,’ Hearn added. 

‘No one can dispute that. Whoever wins that fight will be number one. That’s the fight that AJ wants. Would AJ fight Usyk? One million percent.

‘If Fury got injured or if the talks broke down, or if for some reason that didn’t get over the line, he will fight Oleksandr Usyk if he beats Chisora. But I know he wants to fight Tyson Fury.’

Usyk is unbeaten but Hearn insists Joshua would have no problem fighting the Ukrainian

Usyk is unbeaten but Hearn insists Joshua would have no problem fighting the Ukrainian 

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