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Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua: Could there actually be a path to making the all-British heavyweight super-fight happen?

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Anthony Joshua’s fight with Deontay Wilder evaporated little more than an hour before he thought he was going to get it.

But if AJ defeats Francis Ngannou next month, he could set himself on a path that leads once again towards a possible showdown with British heavyweight rival Tyson Fury

It has been much discussed. Talks have started up and failed multiple times. But still, could Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua actually happen?

The two are titans in British boxing with Fury the reigning WBC champion and Joshua, a former unified heavyweight champion, currently working his way back to the top.

Anthony Joshua Tyson Fury

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Both have significant bouts coming up. On March 8 Joshua will box Francis Ngannou, the former UFC champion who gave Fury an expectedly difficult 10-round bout last year.

Then, on May 18, Fury meets Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titlist, in their rescheduled undisputed championship fight.

Should the two British heavyweights prevail in their respective contests, a natural question will be whether they could finally fight each other in 2024.

Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is advocating for precisely that. “If there’s a chance to jump in late summer or early autumn and make AJ vs Fury, it can be done and there’s ways to make it happen. I think there’s every chance that could happen,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“[With] contracts, everyone’s got to be respected in that sense. But the pressure will be on to make that fight.”

Fury has said he will have two fights with Usyk, but was open to boxing Joshua down the line.

Frank Warren, who co-promotes Fury, told the Toe2Toe podcast: “There are contractual commitments and they will have to be fulfilled.”

But he believes the landscape of heavyweight boxing will continue to develop.

Of the other heavyweight contenders Warren said: “They’re all going to be trying to get themselves into a position to have a fight for one of the mandatory [positions] or fight for a vacant title if the titles fragment again, which I hope they won’t.

“It’s like a renaissance in boxing. Big cards are happening, which we could never under normal circumstances put together because they wouldn’t work out financially but because they’re part of this event, Riyadh season, it’s great for the fans.

“The heavyweight division, it’s never been as lively as this.”

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Anthony Joshua Francis Ngannou

A path for Anthony Joshua to fight for a world championship once more could open up this year.

Hearn said: “It’s going to be interesting. Obviously, a lot’s got to happen, AJ’s got to beat Ngannou and Fury’s got to beat Usyk. One of the reasons that we took the Ngannou fight is because we knew it could take us there quicker because of the vision out there.

“It does look like it [Fury vs Joshua] is close but everyone’s got a job to do first.

“We signed for Joshua against [Deontay] Wilder and we were an hour away from announcing it in the ring and then Joseph Parker goes and beats him. So anything can happen.”

Ngannou will only be having his second professional boxing contest when he fights Joshua next month. That bout then will be a tall order for a mixed martial artist taking on a seasoned former champion.

But in his pro debut, Ngannou did manage to drop Fury. In that sense, he will pose a threat.

“You’ve got two immovable objects, two massive men and Ngannou is huge,” Hearn said. “AJ should be much too good for him but this is the heavyweight division and it’s a very dangerous test.

“All that matters is March 8 for us, because anything can happen in that fight.

“For me this is a performance that has to encompass discipline and brutality.”

Joshua did look in form when he boxed Otto Wallin last time out, handily stopping the Swede in five rounds.

“In the changing room before the Wallin fight when he was hitting pads with Ben [Davison, in a new training partnership], I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve never seen him like it. The noise every time he hit the pads was like a cannon going off,” Hearn said.

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Anthony Joshua Francis Ngannou Deontay Wilder

“I can’t believe the turnaround just in confidence, in sharpness, in power and belief.

“If AJ understands the game and he believes, he is unbeatable in there and we’re moving towards that.”

He added: “You’re only as good as your last fight and if that is the case AJ is the best heavyweight in the world right now. But for me, that’s judged over time and I think you have to say that Fury is probably the No 1 guy.”

Joshua’s promoter, however, believes a dominant performance against Ngannou will strengthen the Watford man’s case for a shot at Fury, in a fight that both Britons, and British boxing, would like to see.

“Fury and Usyk are duking it out for, on paper, the No 1 heavyweight spot in the world,” Hearn said. “If [Fury] can beat Anthony Joshua he’s beaten absolutely everybody.

“That’s true legendary status, that’s the great of our generation.

“I think he does want greatness. I know AJ does and I truly believe that AJ will beat Ngannou and then he will beat Tyson Fury for the undisputed championship.”

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