Anthony Joshua would be “extremely interested” in fighting Tyson Fury this year if the WBC heavyweight champion can get out of his obligation to fight Deontay Wilder next, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn. Before the coronavirus outbreak laid waste to the sporting calendar, it was hoped that a heavyweight title unification fight between the pair could take place by year’s end.
The global pandemic, however, has forced both Joshua and Fury to delay their respective bouts against Kubrat Pulev and Wilder.
The postponement of his first defence of the WBC title has reportedly prompted Fury to contemplate convincing Wilder to step aside from their trilogy fight in order to pursue a unification bout with ‘AJ’, the reigning unified heavyweight champion.
And should Team Fury be successful in their bid to get Wilder to bow out, Hearn insists Joshua would jump at the opportunity to face ‘The Gypsy King’.
During an appearance on Sky Sports, he said: “The one positive that could come out of this for boxing is you might find people jumping into bigger fights sooner, rather than later, because of course, their activity has been slowed.
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I think Anthony Joshua would be extremely interested in moving straight into the Tyson Fury fight
“Their financial gain has been slowed as well, and it probably makes them realise anything can happen – ‘We need to make sure we get this fight in and I need to define my legacy.’
“I think when you look at AJ, I think very much it’s a thought that’s crossed my mind. We’ve got June 20 as a pencilled date for Anthony Joshua.
“We will make a statement potentially this week, or maybe early next week, that’s likely to be delayed.
“I think that’s pretty straightforward and obvious. Hopefully until the end of July.
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“But if it starts kicking on beyond that, then you get to a situation where if Joshua is only going to box once this year, he would very much like that to be against Tyson Fury.
“The situation is a little bit out of our hands in that, if Bob Arum and Al Haymon can talk and make Deontay Wilder wait a little bit, we would absolutely love to go into that fight next.”
Matchroom Boxing chief Hearn is confident Fury’s American promoter Bob Arum will be able to convince Pulev, whom he also represents, to step aside and wait to fight the winner of the long-awaited Battle of Britain.
“I think a lot of it depends on Deontay Wilder,” he said. “If he’s willing to take that step-aside money. That’s a conversation to be had with Bob Arum and Al Haymon to see if that’s even possible.
“If it was possible and there was a way to make Kubrat Pulev wait, which I think is probably an easier job, then for sure, I think Anthony Joshua would be extremely interested in moving straight into the Tyson Fury fight. I think in an ideal world, we have that fight next.
“It’s always been the case, but if we can fight Kubrat Pulev in July, we’d love to fight Tyson Fury in November, December. At the same time, I think there’s so much uncertainty at the moment, this is the kind of situation that might make people say – ‘I think now is the time.”
Joshua’s meeting with Pulev, whom he was originally meant to face in October 2017, has been postponed indefinitely, with July 25 the new tentative date for their clash.
Fury’s rubber match with Wilder, which was on course to take place in Las Vegas on July 18, has been delayed until October.
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