The clash between Fury and Usyk was supposed to happen next week but has now been pushed back to May 18. Both fighters have a rematch clause in their contracts, which means they are scheduled to fight twice this year. However, Joshua could disrupt these plans if he continues his winning streak.
Joshua is currently leading the pack to face the winner of the Fury-Usyk fight after securing three victories in 2023, including a notable win over Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia last December. His promoter, Eddie Hearn, thinks that His Excellency Turki Alalshikh may step in if Joshua keeps winning.
This could delay the rematch between Fury and Usyk, giving Joshua a chance at the undisputed title. Alalshikh is the chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, which has arranged and funded the lucrative series of fights in the Kingdom over the past year.
Joshua is set to fight MMA superstar Francis Ngannou in Riyadh on March 8. If he wins, he might face Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic in the summer for the IBF world title if the winner of Fury and Usyk is obliged to vacate the belt.
Hearn, Matchroom Boxing boss, believes that if Joshua wins, he should get a shot at the undisputed crown. “The timing worked perfectly for AJ to stop Ngannou and for Fury to win,” Hearn told iFL TV. “We appreciate there’s this fight and this rematch, but you know how things are going to go. Come on, you know how His Excellency moves. When the biggest fight in the history of the sport is in front of you to make I’m sure as hell find a way to keep everybody happy and make that fight but it’s irrelevant right now.
“We need that fight to happen and now that fight is happening two months after our fight. So it sounds more likely that if AJ if triumphant will fight Filip Hrgovic for a world title, which is fine and then we’ll fight the winner of Fury vs Usyk. AJ is just like, ‘Sign me up to everything, I’m going to beat everyone’.”
Hearn thinks Fury is most likely to win against Usyk in their upcoming fight. He said: “[Fury has] got the bit between his teeth. Good, I like seeing Tyson Fury like that. Good luck to him, he says two Usyk fights but I believe there’ll be one. I love it, music to my ears. Guess what, Joshua is going to knock Ngannou out and beat Hrgovic if that’s what he’s got to do. Then he’s going to knock out Tyson Fury.”
* An AI tool was used to add an extra layer to the editing process for this story.