Anthony Joshua provides update on timeline for next fight as Fury vs Usyk looms

Anthony Joshua has revealed that his next fight is likely to take place later than he was hoping, with September the current target.

Joshua last fought in March, knocking out ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou in round two. The Briton, 34, has since been linked with the winner of Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk, though a title fight with Filip Hrgovic could be on the cards.

Fury and Usyk are due to fight in Saudi Arabia on 18 May, when – barring a draw – the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000 will be crowned. That bout has a rematch clause, but Hrgovic’s status as IBF mandatory challenger complicates the title picture; if Fury vs Usyk 2 is booked, the winner of their first contest will likely be stripped of the IBF belt, leaving Hrgovic to fight another heavyweight for the vacant gold.

Joshua, who could well be that heavyweight, provided an update on the timeline for his return while speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show this week. “Around September is when I’ve been told, I was hoping for June,” said the former two-time world champion.

“I’ve got some time to go on dates now and mingle a little bit. I’m training at the minute, I’ve got two months before I get into training camp.

“No, [I don’t know the opponent], but I think what they’re saying is, ‘Be patient,’ because you’ve got Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk for all the belts. And then once that’s done, hopefully I can kick down the door and get my opportunity.

“[Fury] is one of my rivals. This is someone I want to compete with one day, so everything he says... I’ve got it all stored in the back of my memory, and when the fight happens, I’m going to use it as a lot of fuel.”

Briton Fury will enter Saudi Arabia as the WBC heavyweight champion, while Ukrainian Usyk – who has beaten “AJ” twice – holds the unified titles. Fury and Usyk are both undefeated as professionals.

‘The Jonathan Ross Show’, Saturday at 21.35pm on ITV1 and ITVX