WBA, IBF, IBO, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) could already have a potential opponent lined up for the fall of 2019.
Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, who promotes Joshua, says his boxer could potentially face WBO, WBC, IBF, WBA cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) in the fall of 2019.
Joshua is scheduled to return to the ring on April 13, at Wembley Stadium in London.
Usyk is back on Saturday night in Manchester, when he faces former champion Tony Bellew.
A few months ago, Usyk signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Hearn, and the main goal of that deal was an eventual showdown with Joshua.
The upcoming contest with Bellew is expected to become Usyk’s final fight in the cruiserweight division.
He will likely take an initial fight at heavyweight to get his feet wet – and then he’s ready to go straight ahead to Joshua.
“Basically if Usyk wins this fight, and probably if he loses this fight, he goes to heavyweight straight away. [Joshua is] the one they want,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“Joshua will only fight twice next year, so it will be the one after. It won’t be the first one, because I think Usyk will want to fight at heavyweight first. There are loads of fights out there for him.”
As far as Joshua’s next opponent, there are several options in play. Back in September, Joshua knocked out WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin in the seventh round.
The most sought after option for Joshua is a bout with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who is back on December 1 against lineal champion Tyson Fury at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
The second option is the winner of next month’s rematch between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora. Joshua already beat Whyte with a seventh round TKO back in December of 2015.