IBF, WBO, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is open to the idea of relinquishing one of his four titles in order to make a fight against Tyson Fury according to his promoter, Eddie Hearn.
Earlier this year it was revealed Joshua and Fury had come to financial terms on a two-fight deal. The bout is not yet official as both men have opponents they must get past before a 2021 date can be set. Joshua is due to face his IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev later this year. While Fury has a trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder in the works.
Oleksandr Usyk is due a mandatory shot at Joshua’s WBO title after he takes on Derek Chisora in London on October 31. If the Ukrainian wins and demands his shot, Joshua may be forced to relinquish the title and that is something he is willing to do according to Hearn who told Boxing Social, he said.
“There’s been a lot of talk about ‘give up the belt,’ but the aim for Anthony Joshua is to be the undisputed heavyweight champion. Will a belt get in the way of him fighting Tyson Fury next? Probably not. Will he vacate a belt and fight Tyson Fury next? Yes, I believe he would if he had to, but would he rather maintain all the belts? One million percent.
“I know Tyson Fury has said, ‘I already had all the belts.’ I know, but you’ve never been undisputed. I hope that means something to people because it means a lot to Anthony Joshua if we get to a position where AJ is fighting Fury regardless of whether the WBO allows their title to be on the line.
“It’s almost like I want to go to Usyk and say, ‘Look, we’re going to vacate the title, but can we vacate it the day after the fight?’ Right now, the only way we can determine who the best heavyweight in the world is by AJ fighting Tyson Fury. No one can dispute that. Whoever wins that fight will be number one. That’s the fight that AJ wants. Would AJ fight Usyk? One million percent. If Fury got injured or if the talks broke down, or if for some reason that didn’t get over the line, he will fight Oleksandr Usyk if he beats Chisora. But I know he wants to fight Tyson Fury.” (Transcribed by Boxing Scene)
Do you think Anthony Joshua will actually be willing to drop a belt to secure a fight against Tyson Fury?