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Tyson Fury v Anthony Joshua - could it still happen? A look at boxing's heavyweight landscape


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Well, that was not part of the script.

Anthony Joshua's world-title defeat by Oleksandr Usyk in London on Saturday has redefined boxing's heavyweight landscape - and seems to have put a tantalising all-British match-up with Tyson Fury further away than ever.

Earlier this year, it felt as if we were so close to an official announcement confirming a once-in-a-generation super-fight between Joshua - who held the WBA, WBO and IBF titles - and WBC champion Fury. Britain was finally on course for its first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era...

But when an arbitration hearing ruled in May that Fury had to fight American Deontay Wilder again, Joshua instead prepared to face his WBO mandatory challenger Usyk.

Both Britons needed to win their fights. But before we could get to Fury's October meeting with Wilder, Joshua was outclassed by Ukrainian Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

BBC Sport explores what this now means for the heavyweight division - and whether a Fury-Joshua clash could still take place.

Fight report: Usyk outclasses Joshua to take unanimous points win

'I'm not a sulker, I will bounce back' - Joshua after Usyk loss

'Why didn't he have a go?' Pundits bemused by 'negative' Joshua

Oleksandr Usyk beats Anthony Joshua - how the boxing world reacted

Does Joshua need to fight Usyk again first?

Just minutes after being beaten comprehensively on points by Usyk, Joshua was thinking about evoking the rematch clause in their contract.

"The first thing he said in the changing room was 'I know I can beat him, I know what I need to do'," his promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live's Boxing Podcast.

When Joshua surprisingly lost to Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, he avenged the defeat and won back the WBO, WBA and IBF belts six months later.

Usyk, however, provides a different, and arguably more difficult, challenge.

Former world champion Carl Froch does not think a rematch is the most sensible next step for Joshua.

"It's not one where I think Joshua can't come back from it - he certainly can - but the immediate rematch, for me, is not the right thing to do," Froch said.

The extent of the eye injury Joshua suffered on Saturday will dictate if and when we see the rematch, but BBC boxing pundit Steve Bunce believes the two could meet again at London's Wembley Stadium in April or May.

"I would love to have the rematch at Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev," Usyk said after Saturday's victory - although Hearn quickly shut that down, talking about "maximising income" in London.

For a fight with Fury to materialise in 2022, Joshua will want to - and perhaps needs to - reclaim those world title belts.

Fury beats Wilder - then what?

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