A Christmas break for Anthony Joshua? It certainly doesn’t appear so.
The heavyweight champion would be entitled to a short festive break given his most recent defence ended with an impressive win against Kubrat Pulev.
And the WBA, IBF and WBO champ has his eye on Tyson Fury’s WBC belt in 2021, with the ‘Gypsy King’ outlining his desire to fight his British rival TWICE next year.
AJ’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has now confirmed the mega fight is edging closer to being finalised.
“We’re close. Backwards and forwards with contracts at the moment,” he told SiriusXM.
“Things have been progressing really well over the last week. I really believe you will see that fight May/June, everyone’s working well in the right direction.”
Former super middleweight champion Carl Froch believes the only way Watford-born Joshua will defeat Fury is by stopping him.
“I think the only way that Anthony Joshua can win this fight is by stoppage. He can’t outbox Fury, who is too good at range,” Froch told Sky Sports.
“He throws punches from all angles and he’s so awkward.
“But Joshua is an Olympic gold medallist with strong fundamentals and he’s got combination punches with real aggression. If he produces the same finishing instinct that he’s shown in past fights, then he can beat Fury.
“AJ can get him out of there, I think he can, because you saw bursts of his aggression in the Kubrat Pulev fight.
“If AJ maintains that, there’s a chance he could stop him, but the problem is, if he doesn’t stop Fury then he’s going to lose on points.”
However, not for the first time boxing politics could wreak havoc as WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, who is also signed with Matchroom Boxing, has voiced his desire to face AJ for the world titles.
However, Joshua is so confident of beating Fury in both their scheduled blockbuster bouts, he is willing to drop the WBO belt and then return after beating ‘The Gypsy King’.
“Will people care if I have to lose a belt to Usyk? Will I have to give one up? I am not too sure yet,” he said.
“I don’t want to, because it is ‘the road to undisputed’. But I know that, when I win, I will go back and fight for that belt anyway — that will be my goal.
“I want to fight Fury, beat him again in the rematch — two difficult hurdles, serious fights — then I will go straight back to try to fight for that title again.”