Joshua facing either Pulev or Usyk next

WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has been ordered to make mandatory title defenses against both IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev and WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk. The IBF and WBO will hold talks to try to reach a solution. Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), who has been waiting 14 months since beating Hughie Fury in an IBF eliminator, is expected to get the fight. Formerly undisputed cruiserweight world champion Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) made his heavyweight debut two months ago and may face Derek Chisora next. Eddie Hearn promotes both Joshua and Usyk.

Meanwhile, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has a February 22 rematch with Tyson Fury in Las Vegas that is expected to be officially announced soon.

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  • I was waiting to hear word about Wilder and fury because it’s only 9 1/2 weeks away of their supposed fight date

      • Yep, I agree… Pulev is a fight simply to watch the highlights. No need to waste anytime watching the fight in full.

          • Either that or they want to get Usyk before he gets comfortable at heavyweight. Because he’s undoubtedly the highest skilled guy in the division. His question is size

          • Usyk might be the highest skilled guy in the division he also boring to watch, he has zero power for heavyweight, did you watch his last fight ?

    • Must be nice Usyk is getting to jump to the front of the line while others wait. I know many will disagree with me, but Usyk has the style for AJ to KO. Usyk is coming up to heavyweight and was impressive in the prior weight class. However, he has limited head movement, paws his jabs, telegraphs that right hand many times, and gets flat-footed at times to land power. This style is tailored-made for AJ. Simply another ATM fight for the promotors to cash-in on some air time on TV. Personally, a joke in my opinion.

    • Usyk is the highest skilled heavyweight in the division bar none. He may be undersized, but after cleaning out a division, he deserves that opportunity. He’s one of the only people to hold all four belts because he was unbeatable at a weight class. Your comment was chiefly downvoted with good cause.

      • Highest skilled heavyweight, deserves to be handed a massive fight ahead of other heavyweights who spent years earning all because he won titles in a weak division, only beating one good fighter and Bellew?

        • Excellent statement robokun. Colby Cali sees it another way, but I understand your question very well.

      • Usyk should fight Parker next….Beating Takam isn’t enough…Beat JP and you Earned a shot….

    • Simply because of his accomplishments at cruiserweight. He was undisputed unified champ which can easily override most of these meaningless mandatories.

    • Usyk won every title there was in the Division below, how could anyone think he isn’t worthy of a shot?

    • As a fan ask yourself a simple question who is more compelling Pulev or Usyk?

      For me, Usyk is the far more interesting match up. Pulev has a puncher’s chance, but he would be a big surprise, whereas Usyk probably not only has the power, but likely the skillset to win. I’m not prepared to say he’s a truly legit Heavyweight yet, but that’s what makes it even more compelling. I’d favor AJ to win, but unlike Pulev I’d be unwilling to stake a hard and fast claim.

      Besides, fighting Fury or Wilder, Usyk is the guy I most want to see in against AJ.

      • Read the comments and you’ll see…Usyk is the guy people want to see. NOBODY is chomping at the bit for Pulev vs anybody! Almost every fighter listed above and below for Usyk to fight first are all fights I’d want to see. Here’s a clue, he’s a new and interesting player, so why not fight AJ? AJ is definitely flawed, but still compelling in his own right, plus the winner would be next up for the Wilder vs Fury winner.

  • I like Usyk – Chisora. It would be the first real heavy weight test for Usyk.

    Pulev doesn’t get a lot of sympathy, but he does qualify for a title shot. So, why not a fight against AJ? The winner can fight the winner of Wilder-Fury.

    Personally, I think a super 6 tournament would be best: it would force the best fight each other without excuses.

    • I agree that for Usyk’s own sake, he should not jump into a fight like this. He’s got too much skill and needs to get settled first.

      • Odd Colby Cali you state Usyk should not jump into a fight like this. Read your reply to my post and you state Usyk is the highest skilled fighter in heavyweight bar none. Sounds like he may be ready based off the other post, right?

      • Colby, the marketability of the Usyk vs AJ fight is probably at it’s peak right now. He’s the Undisputed King of the Cruiserweights and AJ’s holding 3 paper titles. The mystery of if he can succeed at Heavyweight is why he’s so marketable right now. Odds are, he is good enough to beat most of the riff raff in the Division, but I’d bet a lot of those fights would go the distance. Heavyweights that go the distance aren’t the biggest sellers. Besides, if he has the skills now, then why wait. He’s a full grown man, so it’s not like he’ll grow into the Division.

    • Stone free, honestly, the most deserving contender out there is Whyte, but most of us don’t really care to see it. He was cleared of the drug cheating, but I still would rather see the King of the Cruiserweights take on AJ.

  • Pulev is the logical option. No matter what, he has earned the shot and his only loss was against a batter fighter than Joshua at that moment. Interesting fight?
    Nah…..but is something that will happen and has to be digested…..that sucks.
    BTW, I hope Pulev won’t do the “reporter job” on Joshua.
    .

    • Promoters “are” the sport. Without them, there would be no boxing for you to watch. The sanctioning bodies are the problem.

      • No! Promoters aren’t the sport. The fighters are. The ones that risk their lives to entertain you, me and everyone else. Yes the sanctioning bodies ruin the sport but the promoters are just as guilty if not worse. They’re SCUMBAG users. Promoters are the sport, are you high?

    • Rob, yes, I can see your point. It’s all about cash cowing, cherry pickin’, baby steps, and then a big fight brings the last pot of gold in case they lose. Yet, the promotors get their pockets lined. We, as fans, get suckered in and keep supporting it by watching, buying tickets, and the repeat wave continues. Just think if ticket sales would be zero for some of these mediocre fights… Possible change? Who knows…..

      • At this point Fury never losing makes him the number 1 or 2 and Wilder number 1 or 2. AJ is a distant 3rd. With that it’s great to see all the AJ fans back. What’s it been? Since June?

      • That would be a decent fight, but many would even moan about that. Wilder should have fought Whyte by now. I do find Whyte rematch more intriguing than Pulev fight. I actually think Usyk is the biggest challenge, but a lot won’t be on board until Usyk has proven himself at HW. I would give Usyk good chance Vs AJ and Wilder. Less so against Fury

  • This HEARN/AJ TEAM is a total joke. Cherry pick cherry pick cherry pick!!! Pulev? Usyk? Please!!! Scared to death of wilder or ortiz or fury. I’m soooo sick of this bullshyt!! Why is AJ allowed to get away with this bullshyt? Its sickening. Any of these three would beat chickendick AJ. Hell, el tubbo humiliated him by rocking him all over the ring, only to see AJ supposedly redeem himself by running like a biatch in the rematch lol. Roy jones, Mayweather and now….AJ. CHAMPIONS FIGHT THE BEST!!! Not avoid true tests….run AJ run!!!

    • Pulev is an unfortunate mandatory, but I don’t know why people are complaining about Usyk. You really think Joshua should be chasing after Ortiz? A 40 year old who just got KO’d twice. He would be given zero credit. Usyk would be a much greater scalp, especially if he beats Chisora comfortably. Fury even said Usyk would be the greatest threat. I think if Fury were honest he would probably say Wilder but still…

  • Usyk and Pulev are his mandatories so it would be silly , having just regained the belts to give them up to fight anyone except Wilder or Fury. Presuming Wilder/Fury happens next then AJ has to fight someone else next so why not keep at least one of the 2 belts? That’s even assuming the winner would fight AJ. Also there may be a 3rd Wilder/Fury match.
    Re Usyk , the WBO have a rule (I believe) whereby if their beltholder has unified (undisputed) in one division he automatically becomes mandatory if he moves to another weight division.
    I think it will be Pulev next for AJ with the winner either fighting Usyk or an other (if U fights for the vacant WBO belt if he loses.
    I think it will/should be Parker , should the WBO order a match between the 2 highest available contenders as Usyk is 1 , Fury (who is otherwise engaged) is 2 and Parker is 3. DC is something like 14

  • Now that AJ’s chin has been exposed, they will pick opponent like old lady’s pick tomato’s. He won’t fight Wilder untill there is no possible way to make decent money with him

    • They will avoid Wilder, make other fights all the time and wait till Wilder is older, recon in like 3 years time when Wilder is about 37.

  • Joshua-Pulev won’t be much of a fight. Pulev is slow and doesn’t throw a lot of punches. Joshua will outwork him all night long. Usyk-Chisora would be more interesting. So would Usyk-Whyte. That should be the next step in Usyk’s progression. A match against Joshua would be premature.

  • So what is with Mahmoud Charr, still the regular WBA champion but hasnt fought anyone for 2 years, is there one honest organisation?

  • Only in Boxing , no other sports is allowed to do the utter non-sense that boxing is allowed to do!!

  • Usyk should take a few more fights until he jumps into this. Plus his style may be better for a Wilder. They are trying to get Usyk early because he’s dangerous if they give him time.

  • All you guys talking about how Usyk doesn’t deserve a shot at Joshua seem to forget that he was undisputed cruiserweight champ. A champion from another division generally supersedes another contender.

  • The heavyweight division is as wide open as the Grand Canyon. The one time inconsistency of Mr. Ruiz, keeps him relevant. The side of Mr. Wilder than can be outboxed. A Mr. Fury that can be susceptible to being beaten on any night, due to not being taught in camp, by his young {topical} trainer that is clearly not a teacher in the very essence thereof. The psychology of Mr. Joshua is not fully healed from the 1 June 2019 encounter. Not one has shown a distinct leverage over the other. Mr. Usyk does possess a winner’s attitude and that is big for boxing. Ask Chris Byrd. Copyright 2019 Coach Hilario

  • Another boring and pointless fight, Pulev with 5% chances to win…
    AJ won’t fight the best like Wilder of Fury, Hearn won’t let it happen. AJ is all about Hearn’s buisness, not about sport.
    First old Pulev, than small Usyk without a punch who had only one fight in heavyweight against some boom, atfer that Charr etc.
    Who want to even see that?

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