Anthony Joshua was asked to let Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk decide the undisputed heavyweight championship by promoter Frank Warren.
The undefeated duo Fury and Usyk hold all of the major belts in the division after their standout wins over Deontay Wilder and Joshua, but a clash between them, to decide the legitimate No.1, is highly unlikely over the next year or so.
Joshua has triggered a rematch clause to fight Usyk again, expected in spring 2022, to regain the IBF, WBA and WBO belts.
“He shouldn’t go all the way,” said Warren, promoter of UK-based champion WBC Fury. Air sports about Joshua.
“It’s his choice.
“If he hits him on the head, that opens the door for us to unify [Fury vs Usyk].
“Let AJ do a warm-up fight. He needs a winning mentality before he gets into [a rematch with Usyk].
“Maybe he fights the winner [of Fury vs Usyk] which is still a big fight. “
Warren said of Fury vs. Usyk: “They have similar skills. Tyson wouldn’t fight him like AJ did. Tyson would use his physical attributes, size and range, and win the fight.”
Joshua and Fury came close to agreeing on an undisputed title fight until talks fell dramatically earlier this year.
Fury vs Usyk is now the dream fight for the division, Warren thinks.
“Absolutely, but that can’t happen because they had a rematch with AJ,” Warren said.
“I think Usyk will beat him again.
“If there had been 20 more seconds Usyk would have stopped AJ.
“He wobbled it early and almost pulled it out. Next time, he’ll want to knock AJ down.
“The only way AJ can beat him is to do what Wilder did – win.
“I don’t see AJ winning this rematch.”
Usyk promoter Alexander Krassyuk previously told Sky Sports that he plans to face Fury: “It will be after Usyk defeats AJ in the rematch.
When asked if Usyk was impressed with the way Fury beat Wilder, Krassyuk said, “He was. And he was impressed with the way the boxers fought without showing their boxing skills. They were trying to [badly hurt] each other.”
Dillian Whyte advised Joshua, “The only thing he needs to change is his mindset.
“Forget about trying to please people and impress people. You’re not going to outperform it.
“You are a big and strong one. Fight in Usyk!”
Whyte will be established as the mandatory WBC challenger to Fury’s belt if he defeats Otto Wallin on October 30.
Warren said: “If Whyte is beaten by Wallin, which could happen, they will face a rematch. It could be another mess.”
Whyte said: “I hope now the WBC forces my position and Fury has no choice.
“This is a massive British fight, a major fight for Britain.”
Fury’s last five fights have been in America and Warren said of a UK comeback fight: “I would love to see it happen but it will be his choice.”
Sky Sports’ Carl Froch had speculated that Fury might choose to retire after going through his classic rivalry with Wilder.
“If he wants to, he could,” Warren said. “But he loves boxing. He doesn’t think about it.
“He will make a decision on what he wants to do because he is in charge.
“If he fights, that will be who he chooses to fight against.
“He’ll choose who he comes in the ring with because that’s him. He’s the best heavyweight of his generation.
“He went to Germany to beat Wladimir Klitschko who was the heavyweight of his generation at the time. He plugged his ears to show a side of him.
“He has been to America three times in [Wilder’s] back yard and beat the toughest puncher out there.
“I can’t think of any British fighter who has done this.
“In four of those fights he was the underdog. He was struck off against Klitschko and against Wilder in their first and second fights.
“Joe Calzaghe? ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed? But Tyson is special.”
Sky Sports Boxe schedule
October 16 – Top Rank in San Diego
Emanuel Navarette vs. Joet Gonzalez – WBO featherweight title
October 16 – BOXXER in Newcastle
Savannah Marshall vs Lolita Muzeya – WBO Middleweight Title
Hughie Fury vs. Christian Hammer
Chris Eubank Jr vs. Wanik Awidjan
October 24 – Top Rank in Atlanta
Jamel Herring vs. Shakur Stevenson – WBO Super Featherweight Title
October 31 – Best ranking in New York
José Zepeda vs. José Vargas
November 6 – Best ranking in Las Vegas
Mikaela Mayer vs Maiva Hamadouche – IBF and WBO Super Feather Titles
November 6 – BOXXER in Liverpool
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs. Olanrewaju Durodola
Professional debut of Caroline Dubois
November 20 – Best ranking in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter – WBO welterweight title
December 11 – Best ranking in Las Vegas
Vassili Lomachenko vs. Richard Commey
December 17 – Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – IBF and WBC lightweight titles
December 18 – Best ranking in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed welterweight title