Anthony Joshua should ignore his mandatory challengers and wait to face the winner of the February 22 clash between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, according to Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter.
After regaining his WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia this month, Joshua was ordered by the WBO and IBF to face their mandatory challengers – Oleksandr Usyk and Kubrat Pulev respectively.
It seems most likely that his next fight will be with Pulev in London, probably in May, but Warren says Joshua should wait for the result of Wilder-Fury 2 and then face the winner in what would be one of the richest fights in history.
“Everybody knows, and it showed 100% in New York, if he gets clipped on the chin he’ll go.” Warren said. “His tactics were spot on for his last fight, 100%, but he fought a guy who came in 15 or 16lb heavier [than when he won the title] and admits he never trained, by his own admission.
“If I was Anthony Joshua I wouldn’t fight again until we know the winner of this fight - and then make them make that fight.
“I’d let them strip me of my titles and not fight anybody until the big one. The one thing about Pulev - he can whack. Usyk is a small guy, 32 years of age and good boxer.
“So I would say, I want to fight the winner of our fight [Wilder-Fury II]. Get all the parties together, work something out, maybe some step aside money. That’s what I would do. Because that’s what the public want, they want to know who is the No 1.
“The No 3 and the No 4 fought in Saudi. The No 1 and No 2 are fighting on February 22.”