Anthony Joshua is set to fight Oleksandr once he is done with Jarrell Miller according to promoter Eddie Hearn. The 32-year-old former cruiserweight king Usyk is going to move up to heavyweight and will become the mandatory challenger for Joshua as per WBO rules. Eddie Hearn revealed Joshua could make a WBO mandatory defense against Oleksandr Usyk.
Usyk is set to vacate all four of his cruiserweight world titles and move up to heavyweight this year. Hearn, who promotes both champions, revealed in an interview that Anthony Joshua could face the Ukrainian if mandated. He also said the latter does not want to lose out on the undisputed title showdown with Deontay Wilder.
“We don’t want to vacate one of the titles because we want the undisputed fight.
“I mean, don’t get me wrong, if a title was vacated, we’d still fight Wilder – but it wouldn’t be the undisputed fight.
“(Joshua’s mandatories are) WBO with Usyk, IBF with Pulev is after the WBO mandatory, and then there would be a WBA mandatory, which is not set yet.
“So (Joshua) is going to have a logjam of mandatories. After Miller, he’s either going to fight Wilder or another fight or, more likely, Usyk.
“Anthony Joshua’s fight with Wilder may not be a unification bout if it doesn’t happen this year. If he fights the undisputed fight then he’s got to fight Usyk after.
“Then he’s got to fight Pulev as another mandatory after that. And then he’s got to fight the WBA one.”
Joshua missed out on the unification fight with WBC champ Wilder last year, after the WBA mandated him to fight Alexander Povetkin.
It has also been reported Usyk will face ex-Joshua opponent Carlos Takam on his heavyweight debut, after a showdown with Povetkin fell through.