Anthony Joshua believes a future world title fight against Deontay Wilder is inevitable after tipping the American to beat Tyson Fury.
Joshua defends his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles against Alexander Povetkin on September 22, while Wilder is due to face Fury for the WBC strap later this year.
Joshua believes Wilder has opted to face an easier opponent in Fury, rather than accepting his offer of a unification fight.
“We have to fight, there’s no two ways about it,” Joshua told Sky News. “Remember we’ve been negotiating since I fought [Carlos] Takam last year.
“I’ve been trying to get a fight with Wilder, it’s been ongoing for a long time. It feels very difficult.
“That is why I know the strategy is for him to fight Fury after a three-year lay-off. He’s got a good chance of beating him.
“It will boost his profile so when he comes back to the negotiating table he will have a better leg to stand on.”
Fury beat Francesco Pianeta on points last month to set up his US showdown with Wilder, but Joshua is less than impressed with his British rival, who has fought just twice since returning to the ring.
“Tyson Fury’s strategy is to put some money in the bank after a three-year layoff,” said Joshua.
“He’ll continue talking rubbish as he does. In the long run, thunder strikes and it continues to strike.
“It’s not like they’ve stolen the limelight. There’s enough on the table for everyone to eat, in my opinion.”