By: Sean Crose
Top Rank Promotion’s Bob Arum claims that Anthony Joshua should forget about having an undoubtedly difficult immediate rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, and simply focus on facing Arum’s own fighter, Tyson Fury, instead. Joshua and Fury were set to throw down in a supermatch for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world this year, but the bout was essentially squashed by an American arbitrator who ruled (fairly, it seems) that Fury was legally bound to fight Deontay Wilder a third time by September. Fury-Joshua went from being pushed back to possibly never happening at all this weekend when Usyk shocked a lot of people by taking Joshua’s titles via unanimous decision victory in Britain.
“I don’t know what Anthony Joshua could have done to beat Usyk,” Arum informed iFL TV. “Usyk was in a class above him and is in a class above him.” Yet Arum had a suggestion: “I think that Joshua would be well off if somehow he was able to take another couple of fights before the rematch with Usyk,” he said, “and if people were sensible Joshua would work out an agreement (with) Tyson Fury if (Fury is) successful with Deontay Wilder.” Yet Arum is aware of the fact Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, might have other ideas. “Eddie Hearn being Eddie Hearn, who is all ego,” Arum said, “wont listen to something that makes sense.”
Truth be told, Joshua himself seems to want to get a second crack at Usyk. For Joshua isn’t one of the group of modern fighters who sees his career as a trillion dollar chess match. He’s a legit athlete who wants the glory. What’s more, Joshua’s only previous loss was avenged when he switched up styles and bested Andy Ruiz in their 2019 rematch. In sum, the popular Englishman simply doesn’t appear to be the type to avoid the biggest challenges.
As for Fury, he has to defeat Deontay Wilder again next month (the fight seems to be forever being pushed back) before moving on to Joshua, Usyk, or any other name heavyweight fighter. There’s a sense online that Fury-Wilder 3 is something of a foregone conclusion, that Fury has simply proven himself the better man throughout the two previous battles he’s waged against Wilder. If this past weekend taught the fight world anything, however, it’s that it isn’t wise to underestimate anyone in the prize ring. With that in mind, Arum comes across as pretty sure Usyk has Joshua’s number.
“That will be an additional defeat on Joshua’s record,” he said in reference to Joshua fighting Usyk a second time.
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