ANTHONY JOSHUA confirms he will fight either Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder next, as long as he defeats Oleksandr Usyk in heavyweight clash tonight.
Joshua, 31, has said that if he beats Usyk tonight, his next opponent will depend on the winner of the Fury vs Wilder trilogy fight in Las Vegas on October 9.
He said: “If I win, I’ll fight either one of them. If Fury wins, I’ll fight Fury. But if Wilder wins, I’ll fight Wilder..
“If Fury wins and doesn’t take the fight with me because on his hit list he said he wants to fight Dillian [Whyte] first or [Dereck] Chisora — then I’ll fight Wilder.”
But Joshua – known as AJ – will have to get past former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tonight before he gets his wish.
Usyk, 34, beat Derek Chisora by unanimous decision in October 2020 to become the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBO heavyweight belt.
Joshua had been set to fight Tyson Fury earlier this year, but the fight was put on hold when The Gypsy King was ordered to complete his trilogy with Wilder by an arbitration ruling.
This opened the door for Usyk to take on Joshua for the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles.
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AJ originally won his WBA (Super) and IBO titles with a triumph over Usyk’s compatriot Vladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium back in 2017.
The Watford-born fighter has only one career defeat, coming against Andy Ruiz Jr. in a shock TKO back in 2019, which will give Usyk hope that he too can overcame the heavyweight champ.
AJ to beat the Mexican in a rematch by unanimous decision just six months later and has vowed to put the defeat behind him, claiming it will not define his career.
When asked about who he is backing to win the trilogy fight between Fury and Wilder, AJ revealed he is backing the American to pull off a shock victory.
“Look, because you’ve asked the question, let’s go with Wilder because he seems obsessed like he really wants it,” he said.
“He seems really focused on the task ahead, so, you know, a focused man is a dangerous man, and he’s focused.
“Wilder might get the decision. Actually, no. It has to be a knockout. One of them will knock the other out.”
Fans are desperate to see Joshua and Fury go head to head in a fight dubbed ‘The Battle of Britain’, which would see the winner unify the heavyweight division.
Fury, 33, has admitted he will be cheering on Joshua tonight in the hope that a victory for both Brits will set up a lucrative £200m heavyweight showdown.
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He said: “Do I want him to win? Definitely. Because it doesn’t make much sense in me beating Usyk up.
“I’d much prefer to beat Joshua up, it’s a bigger fight and people want to see it more.
“If Usyk does win then he will cost us a few quid.
“Then again we have lost plenty of money in the past so it doesn’t really matter, does it? There’s plenty to go around.”