As the year comes to a close, the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is looking forward to a potential full division unification with WBC champion Tyson Fury in 2021, reports boxingscene.com.
Joshua was in action earlier this month when he knocked out mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.
Now his sights are set on finalising a two-fight deal with Fury.
The only thing in Joshua’s way – is a clash with WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.
If Usyk refuses to accept a step-aside deal, then Joshua could be forced to vacate the WBO title in order to move forward with a highly lucrative fight against Fury.
“Will people care if I have to lose a belt to Usyk? Will I have to give one up? I am not too sure yet. I don’t want to, because it is ‘the road to undisputed’. But I know that, when I win, I will go back and fight for that belt anyway — that will be my goal,” Joshua said to The Sun.
“I want to fight Fury, beat him again in the rematch — two difficult hurdles, serious fights — then I will go straight back to try to fight for that title again.”
On the other side of the fence, Fury is dealing with a legal action brought forward by Deontay Wilder.
Back in February, Fury stopped Wilder in seven rounds to capture the WBC title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Soon after, Wilder exercised an immediate rematch clause. The contest was postponed several times, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Eventually, Fury’s handlers took the firm position of Wilder allowing the rematch clause to expire – while Wilder began a legal battle to enforce the rematch clause for the trilogy fight.
“I don’t know what Fury’s situation is with Wilder. My situation is, do I give up the WBO or will Usyk step aside?” Joshua said.
A summer undisputed heavyweight clash between Fury and Joshua is the fight on everyone’s lips at the moment, certainly on British shores, according to worldboxinbgnews.net.
Talks have been held between both sides to get a fight over the line in the summer of 2021 between the world’s top two at 200 pounds plus. There’s seemingly only one major problem. Saudi Arabia is favoured to host the encounter.
Money men in the Middle East, who previously wanted Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao II – as first reported by WBN late last year, have now turned their attention to Fury v Joshua.
Despite initial discussions about a potential spring date for the fight, WBN understands June or July is much more likely. But due to the current pandemic, taking the first of two bouts outside of the UK makes the most sense to those who crunch the numbers.
We know that Joshua would be more inclined to fight in the summer. That’s if the first fight can be kept in the United Kingdom.
Should all sides take the money and head to Saudi Arabia, May could work but would be a massive blow for the whole UK. Questions of whether the UK government should step in have since been raised to keep the fight on home soil. But as COVID-19 gets worse and worse in the UK, the likeliness of fans being able to witness the biggest top division fight in history is fading fast.
The fans are going to be the biggest losers here. Those who can’t afford to travel or don’t want to step foot in the region due to other issues have no option but to watch TV. At present, it’s imperative the fight just gets made.
Therefore, where it takes place for now is a secondary matter.
They will agree on a two-fight deal. This gives significant hope that the rematch will happen in the UK. If it takes place at the end of 2021, then a huge stadium with a roof like that of The Principality Stadium in Wales would be the frontrunner. Joshua has fought there twice. He won against Joseph Parker and Carlos Takam.
As the venue continues to be a bone of contention, mediation includes Deontay Wilder and Oleksandr Usyk. Situations that see Wilder wanting his shot at Fury. Plus, Usyk being the mandatory challenger to Joshua, still need to be ironed out.
It’s not a straightforward heavyweight deal, obviously. Fingers remain crossed.