Image source: RICHARD HEATHCOTE, GETTY IMAGES
Eddie Hearns reveals Anthony Joshua is ready to “punish” Oleksandr Usyk in the ring if a heavyweight clash between the pair is made. Joshua was set to take on Tyson Fury on August 11. Joshua holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles, while Fury is WBC champion.
However, an arbitrator ruled that Fury must complete a trilogy with Deontay Wilder before 15 September. As a result, AJ expected to take on mandatory challenger Usyk next.
“It kind of feels like we’re always having to pleased somebody, and that generally comes from the governing bodies,” Hearn told Steve Kim.
“If you look at the run of fights Anthony Joshua’s had since Wladimir Klitschko, he was ordered to fight a mandatory straight after that – it was [Kubrat] Pulev. He accepted that fight and then Pulev pulled out with a week to go, and he boxed [Carlos] Takam.
“In his next fight, he boxed Joseph Parker in a unification fight. In the fight after that, he was told he’s got to face a WBA mandatory, against Alexander Povetkin – quite a prime Povetkin at the time as well, by the way.
“Then after that, he actually had a voluntary. Who did he choose as a voluntary? Andy Ruiz. He loses to him, he fights Andy Ruiz again, and then he’s told: ‘Now you’ve got another mandatory, it’s Kubrat Pulev.’
“Now you try to make the undisputed fight [with Fury], and you’re told again: ‘Right, you’ve got another mandatory, and it’s Oleksandr Usyk.’
“If the deal’s right and everyone’s sensible, we make that fight in a heartbeat. AJ believes he punishes Oleksandr Usyk.But you have to understand, Anthony Joshua is a throwback fighter. Look at that resume, where’s the easy fights? Joshua is continuously fighting these guys that he gets a letter about, telling him: ‘You must do this.’ At some point, with the way he’s probably feeling at the moment and the way I’m feeling, you don’t want to be told what to do.”