If Oleksandr Usyk can successfully make the shift to heavyweight, Eddie Hearn claims Anthony Joshua might be interested in a bout.
Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua is “intrigued” by the prospect of facing Oleksandr Usyk if the undisputed cruiserweight champion makes a successful step up to heavyweight.
Usyk has previously spoken of targeting Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and the rest of the heavyweight giants, and he retained his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO belts by knocking down Tony Bellew on Saturday.
That victory increased talk of a potential clash with fellow champion Joshua which, according to promoter Hearn, may appeal to the Briton.
“I think [Joshua] is intrigued by Usyk,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “I think he would like to fight Usyk, I think he would like to fight everybody who he views as a top-level fighter.
“The challenge for Usyk is the size. It’s going to be very difficult for anybody to out-skill him. [Evander] Holyfield did it [stepped up to heavyweight], but he did it actually with toughness, which is even harder than to do it with skill.
“But I think if Usyk shows what he will show at heavyweight, if he puts himself in a position, AJ will have no problem fighting him.
“That could end up being a huge, huge fight, but I think Usyk in the post-fight interview was very sensible and said this division is not a joke.
“‘I’m not just diving in, I need to make sure that I prepare properly for challenges like that.’ I see him having two fights probably before he’s ready for Joshua at heavyweight.”
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) October 5, 2018
But Hearn admits Usyk would only be a back-up option for Joshua, who is keen to face Deontay Wilder, and believes the Ukrainian would struggle.
“It depends on the Wilder fight really,” he said. “I think if the Wilder fight doesn’t happen, then we could go [Dillian] Whyte, if he beats [Dereck] Chisora, and then Usyk after that.
“But a lot depends on what Usyk wants to do and whether he feels like he’s ready. I think the AJ fight is a very, very, very tough fight for Usyk.
“AJ is very fast, very mobile, and I think Usyk will do better against slower heavyweights, who aren’t as mobile. But it’s going to end up being a monster fight at some point.”