Eddie Hearn says a long-awaited fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury could be possible in February, but only if Joshua looks after his business against Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua was finally due to get in the ring for a blockbusting unification fight against Fury, but it was cancelled after a United States arbitrator ordered the latter to have a third bout against Deontay Wilder.
That left the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion to fight undisputed world cruiserweight champion Usyk at the end of September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“I think I would probably say a February date or something like that, but after all the negotiations we are just focused on Oleksandr Usyk and we’ll go from there,” he told the PA news agency.
“I would like to think we have got a good deal in place for that, but I don’t really trust anything that comes from that side.
“But if we don’t beat Usyk, it’s irrelevant anyway so that’s the focus.
“Everyone wants the best against the best, but look what we have got. We have got Wilder against Fury, I know it’s number three, but we have also got AJ against Usyk, which is a fantastic fight.
“We have got some great fights and we hopefully get that one made after.”
Hearn believes Joshua has had enough time to prepare himself mentally for the new opponent and will not be affected by the Fury cancellation.
“I think maybe if the fight happened quicker, but he has had time to, not lick his wounds, but overcome the fact the Fury fight is not happening, so he has rejigged his camp and got his mind in order, he is excited about the challenge and he is looking forward to it,” he said.
“You look at all the challenges Joshua has faced: the Dillian Whytes, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Ruiz, Povetkin, Pulev, it’s an unbelievable run, but it is the unified heavyweight against the undisputed cruiserweight world champion.
“It’s an incredible fight and Anthony keeps accepting the challenges and he should be commended.
“I actually said that to Anthony the other day, Usyk is very skilful, arguably one of the best pound for pound fighters out there so I do believe in the heavyweight division – although Usyk seems to be growing every day – that a good big ‘un beats a good little ‘un, at least I hope so.”