Oleksandr Usyk appears to be next for Anthony Joshua.
Eddie Hearn told talkSPORT that the heavyweight clash will go down on either September 18 or 25 and at Wembley or at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
AJ’s friend and cruiserweight legend Tony Bellew finished his career by losing to Usyk as the Ukrainian went on to unify the division.
Now that he’s stepped up to heavyweight, he’s defeated Dereck Chisora by unanimous decision and finds himself the WBO’s mandatory challenger.
Speaking to talkSPORT at Matchroom Boxing’s launch of Fight Camp, Bellew explained why he thinks Joshua, the best athletic heavyweight of the past two decades, would be too much for Usyk.
“I know exactly how good Usyk is. He’s an amazing talent. Best fighter I ever fought. But I don’t believe he’s big enough and dangerous enough to cause AJ problems.
“Well, he’s big enough to cause him problems, I don’t think he’d last long enough to defeat him. But, he will cause problems while he’s standing and he’s [AJ] going to have to get rid of him. He’ll put the pressure on, make him pay for every single thing he earns in there.
“AJ is the best athletic heavyweight I’ve seen in the last two decades. As an athlete, mate, he’s unbelievable. He’s an unbelievable specimen, he really is. The power he can move at, the speed he can move at, the dexterity; it’s unbelievable.
“He’s on another level to everybody else. He’s just got to keep improving on that boxing IQ, which he is. He showed that against Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch. How unbelievable he was.
“In the Pulev fight, he went back a little bit and showed the old things he was doing and the way he broke down the big men with the speed that counts.
“But then he’s going to have to show something different against Oleksandr Usyk again. He’s going to have to box at times, put pressure on and he’ll have to get hit as well.
“So he’ll have to show different things that he hasn’t done in his career so far, but then again, he’s always improving, always getting better and it’s just fantastic to see,” Bellew said.
Of course, that’s the running argument when discussing AJ taking on Tyson Fury.
AJ has the physique and athletic abilities, in addition to a hard punch. Fury is the smart boxer with serious ring IQ that can make things awkward and difficult for anyone.
Fury takes on Deontay Wilder on July 24 in Las Vegas. If he wins and Joshua overcomes Usyk a couple of months later, the undisputed heavyweight title fight must just be back on and that’s certainly the goal for both parties.