Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn were hoping to face the winner of that blockbuster unification match later this year – assuming of course AJ takes care of business against former UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou on March 8.
But when Fury sustained a freak cut in sparring last week, his February 17 date vs Usyk was postponed – and then swiftly rescheduled for May 18.
All that leaves Joshua likely marking time for a little longer before a potential trilogy for Usyk, or that long-awaited all-British blockbuster vs Fury.
So now, after Ngannou, we could potentially see Joshua fighting one Filip Hrgovic – potentially with the IBF world heavyweight title on the line. This, of course, is if the world heavyweight titles start to fragment after that first Fury vs Usyk fight.
Hearn, speaking to IFL TV on YouTube, said: “The timing worked perfectly for AJ to stop Ngannou and for Fury to win. 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 he’ll find a way to keep everybody happy and make that fight but it’s irrelevant right now.
Hearn on Joshua next fights
“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 is triumphant, he 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.'”