Eddie Hearn warns Anthony Joshua he could fight Oleksandr Usyk next after Andy Ruiz Jr rematch

Eddie Hearn has revealed Anthony Joshua is ‘excited’ at the prospect of facing Oleksandr Usyk at heavyweight.

The Brit was in possession of three world heavyweight titles when Usyk confirmed his move into the heavyweight ranks, before his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in June.

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Oleksandr Usyk has been eyeing Anthony Joshua since the amateurs
Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

The 2012 Olympic Gold medallist from Ukraine was supposed to have made his professional heavyweight debut in May, but it was delayed to injury.

Instead, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion will take on late replacement Chazz Witherspoon on Saturday evening in Chicago after Tyrone Spong’s adverse VADA test.

And, provided Usyk escapes unscathed and Joshua can reclaim his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles against Ruiz in their Saudi Arabia rematch, Hearn revealed a potential clash could be made between the two.

“Joshua was excited when we signed Usyk, he was excited to see him in the heavyweight division,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

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Joshua will seek revenge over Ruiz when they go head to head once again in Saudi Arabia
AFP or licensors

“Joshua saw Usyk a lot in the amateurs and he has never been scared to fight anybody, so he’d be up for fighting Usyk.

“Usyk is the mandatory but has to keep winning, and has to show that he is ready to fight [the champions] of the division.”

Whoever emerges from the desert on December 7 with the world titles around their waits will have to deal with IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev and WBO mandatory Usyk at some point in 2020.

“It will be a mess,” Hearn added. “The belts are on the line in Saudi Arabia then the winner must decide what to do.

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The Ukrainian is preparing for the challenge of late replacement Chazz Witherspoon
Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

“But there is going to be a problem because mandatories are due with both organisations.”

The unbeaten Ukrainian Usyk ‘will definitely’ challenge for a world heavyweight title by the end of next year, Hearn confirmed.

“He will fight for the world heavyweight title in his next fight, if he beats [Witherspoon],” he added. “He wants to jump straight in. He thinks he can beat everybody.

“We’ll never really know until he’s in with the elite of the elite. Those four or five guys, big, big men that can really test him.

“I don’t know how easily he made cruiserweight, so maybe the extra stone will give him extra power. He won’t be the biggest punching heavyweight of all time but whatever he lacks (which won’t be much), he will make up for in skill.”

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