3Anthony Joshua expects to be mandated to fight Oleksandr Usyk next year, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Pound-for-pound supremo and undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk is expected to step into the heavyweight division this year, with the ultimate aim of challenging Joshua.

Asked if Joshua could fight Usyk by the end of 2019, Hearn told Sky Sports: "No. That fight comes in 2020."

Joshua must first make his US debut by defending the IBF, WBA and WBO belts against Jarrell 'Big Baby' Miller at New York's Madison Square Garden on June 1, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

The unified champion hopes to claim every major heavyweight belt, a feat accomplished by Usyk in the division below, but will also be forced into mandatory defenses.

Usyk is set to be immediately installed as the WBO's mandatory challenger once he joins the top division, putting him on a collision course with Joshua.

"Usyk will fight in May, probably in his heavyweight debut, potentially against Alexander Povetkin," explained Hearn, who works alongside K2 Promotions to oversee Usyk's career.

"Then he'll have one more. Then it looks like the WBO will make him mandatory for Anthony Joshua.

"I see that fight happening in spring 2020."

 

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