Eddie Hearn has announced that Anthony Joshua could fight Tyson Fury twice in 2021.
Boxing fans from all corners of the world have been crying out for these two heavyweight champions to face off against one another.
Both men hold every major heavyweight title, so the winner of this highly anticipated encounter would unify the division.
AJ holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts but must fight mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev before he sets his sights on his fellow countryman.
Deontay Wilder is also entitled to a trilogy fight against Fury, who holds the WBC belt.
Due to the current climate, boxing will only return in the UK behind closed doors. AJ doesn’t want to defend his title in an empty arena so he will hopefully get the chance to do so later this year, either in front of a partisan crowd or overseas.
Hearn said: “AJ will only box once in 2020. We have no problem signing now to fight Fury in 2021.”
The Gypsy King needs to overcome one obstacle in the form of a 6ft 6in American powerhouse, Wilder. Recent talk of the ‘Bronze Bomber’ being paid off £8million to ‘step-aside’ and wait to face the winner of Fury-AJ has been scuppered by the Brit.
“I wouldn’t pay him to step aside. I’d rather batter him again. I’m a standalone soldier, they all need to come to me,” said the charismatic giant on his Instagram Live.
Providing both men get through these fights, which they should, the two would lock horns in what would be one of the greatest events in boxing history. Following Fury’s impressive decimation of Wilder in Las Vegas in February, he would be going into this fight as many people’s favourite.
The undefeated fighter seems to have everything under his belt. He sent shockwaves through the heavyweight division back in 2015 when he outclassed Wladimir Klitschko to unify the belts after winning by unanimous decision.
Fury’s approach was somewhat defensive and let the Russian brute have the front foot, but it was the then 26-year-old who landed more punches and was the first man to ever outscore Klitschko.
Comparing this fight to his most recent victory over Wilder, where he fought on the front foot and won via TKO in round seven, it is clear that he has numerous game plans and can execute them against the very best.
Standing at 6ft 9in and with a reach of 85in, it is hard to get anywhere near the surprisingly nimble 31-year-old. His almost awkward style and his chameleon-like way of adapting to any situation makes him the number one heavyweight right now.
In contrast, if you were to ask someone to build the perfect boxer, many would create someone very similar to AJ.
The Olympic gold medallist took to boxing like a duck to water and, with his impressive wins over Klitschko and Joseph Parker, he soon became a fan-favourite. Standing at 6ft 6in and with an immense amount of power, he seemed invincible.
But last June Andy Ruiz caused one of the greatest ever upsets in boxing history when he knocked out AJ in round seven.
Although well respected, Ruiz wasn’t anywhere near the calibre of Fury or even Wilder at the time, so for him to not only beat AJ but to knock him out was something quite spectacular.
Despite then beating Ruiz in the rematch, before the year was out, the 30-year-old had lost a lot of his aura and is still humbled by his only defeat.
It now seems inevitable that these two British champions will meet to unify the belts.
Fury has shown that he can comfortably fight either on the front foot, as he did to beat Wilder, and that he also has the capabilities to change his plan, fighting more defensively as he did to beat Klitschko.
The man is an enigma and is mentally the strongest of the two. His mental strength was on show when he returned to boxing following a three-year battle with depression and addiction, after his bout with Klitschko.
AJ may turn the match into an all-out brawl which would probably be his best plan as he packs a lot of power in his punches.
In his last fight against Ruiz, he boxed impressively behind his jab and used his 82in reach to his advantage. He is physically stronger than Wilder which could cause Fury problems if he does attempt to overpower AJ.
The Gypsy Kings willpower is outstanding, he got knocked down twice in his first drawn fight against Wilder and had the strength to get back up off the canvas. The American has the most powerful right hand in all of boxing. When he lands one on his opponent’s jaw, they never get up, unless you are Fury of course.
AJ got knocked out by Ruiz in their first fight and the Mexican’s fast hands troubled him. Fury may look to exploit Joshua’s weak chin and try to go for a knockout.
2021 is set up to be another marquee year for heavyweight boxing and these two British champions will be the figureheads for the foreseeable future. Fury will rightfully go into the first fight as the favourite and I believe he will be the one to unify the belts.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk