Boxing

Anthony Joshua Set To Avoid Fury & Wilder Once Again In Next Two Fights

Anthony Joshua Set To Avoid Fury & Wilder Once Again In Next Two Fights

Anthony Joshua has reclaimed his world titles after a unanimous decision victory over Andy Ruiz, and the focus has already turned towards his next fight. Having won back the IBF, WBA and WBO belts in Saudi Arabia it is expected that the IBF strap will be defended early next year.

However, it appears that Joshua will once again avoid the two biggest names in the heavyweight division.

Speaking to Sky Sports, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that the boxer will face off against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, with the fight likely to take place at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Pulev is the mandatory IBF challenger, and Hearn believes that WBO contender Oleksandr Usyk will be next in line should the British fighter win that one.

I've got to speak to the IBF and the WBO and see who goes first. I think it sounds like it's the IBF, but we'll wait for confirmation of that. AJ will want to maintain the belts and if that's the case, I think it will be Pulev, and then Usyk.

I think April or May, that's a realistic kind of date.

We spoke to Spurs about hosting this fight (the rematch against Ruiz), which they were keen to do, but unfortunately the dates didn't work out. They would be keen to do it and it would be a nice stadium to do it in London.

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If this does turn out to be the case, it kicks the can even further down the road on any meeting with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.

Joshua has been heavily criticised in the past for his failure to fight either of the other two bug names in the division, a narrative which seemed somewhat vindicated after he was knocked out by Andy Ruiz earlier this year.

Wilder and Fury are set to meet in February in a rematch of their drawn bout, with the winner first in line to face Joshua. However, with two other fights in 2019 all but set in stone, we could have to wait quite a while to see that one.

SEE ALSO: Paddy Barnes Highlights Plight Of Professional Boxing Career

Gary Connaughton

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