There is no guarantee a heavyweight title showdown between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk ever happens, but AJ is clearly ready for it.
Joshua was ringside on Saturday night as Usyk defeated Dereck Chisora on points at Wembley Arena. That cemented the Ukrainian’s claims as WBO mandatory contender. And pushed his bid for an immediate shot at the title, held by AJ.
Having fights behind closed doors is not great for atmosphere, but it does give us a much better idea of what is being said by the main protagonists.
And a video released by Sky Sports Boxing on Twitter shows a post-fight exchange between Joshua and Usyk.
The former cruiserweight king can be heard shouting: “Hello Anthony my friend, how are you?”.
To which Joshua immediately responds: “I’m coming Usyk”.
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) November 5, 2020
Joshua later told Sky Sports Boxing that he “likes to see his competition in the flesh,” as he wonders whether Usyk will be on his roadmap soon.
Joshua vs Usyk – the big questions
First of course AJ must defeat Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev (28-1) at the O2 Arena on Saturday December 12 (live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN).
Then he must decide whether to face Usyk, or vacate the WBO belt to face Tyson Fury in a mammoth showdown next year.
The latter route would give him a career-best payday and deliver the biggest fight in British boxing history. But it would also mean Fury vs Joshua would not be for the undisputed heavyweight championship. Something AJ has always stated is a career goal.
Fury meanwhile also has an upcoming engagement in December. That will likely be against unbeaten German Agit Kabayel (20-0). The bout is scheduled for Saturday December 5 at the Royal Albert Hall, and will screened by BT Sport and ESPN.
Fury remains a 1/2 favourite to defeat Joshua when they finally meet. AJ meanwhile is the 6/4 underdog. Those odds had looked very different before AJ’s first career defeat. That of course came against Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019.