Tony Bellew warned Oleksandr Usyk will beat him - and then Anthony Joshua

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Tony Bellew has been warned by the world’s finest fighter that his next opponent will not only beat him, but that he will then go on to dethrone Anthony Joshua.

The 35-year-old Bellew has accepted his toughest fight, against undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk on November 10, and Usyk’s long-term training partner Vasyl Lomachenko – widely considered the pound-for-pound best boxer – is “convinced” he will continue to win.

Ukraine’s Usyk, 31, is already in contention to one day challenge Joshua, when even as one of the finest cruiserweights in history he will have to overcome potential physical disadvantages.

He is naturally, significantly smaller than Joshua, but his compatriot and lightweight Lomachenko believes his talent is such that even the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion is within his considerable reach.

Lomachenko joined Usyk at ringside at Wembley on Saturday to watch Joshua stop Alexander Povetkin, and he said: “Usyk can be very special, because he can beat Bellew and he can beat Joshua. It’s going to be a tough fight for both of them.

Lomachenko (l)..

Lomachenko (l)..

“(Joshua-Usyk) would be a very interesting fight for the fans, and for boxing. Even for me it would be very interesting. I’m convinced (he wins both), and he still has some way to go (before he shows how good he actually is).

“He has had a very good amateur schooling, and always takes fight preparations very seriously. Today he’s maybe too small, but in the next year he can gain mass and be exactly like these big guys.

“More opportunities have come for the Eastern fighters to show the west how good they are – that’s why we’re seeing this now.”

WBA champion Lomachenko is preparing to fight WBO lightweight title holder Jose Pedraza in New York on December 8.

He has previously been spoken of as a potential opponent for Britain’s Terry Flanagan, Anthony Crolla and Luke Campbell, but while he found Saturday’s occasion at Wembley to be impressive, there are presently no British fighters who tempt him.

Oleksandr Usyk can one day challenge Anthony Joshua, according to Vasyl Lomachenko.

Oleksandr Usyk can one day challenge Anthony Joshua, according to Vasyl Lomachenko.

“Why should they interest me, for me to fight them?” said the 30-year-old. “They’re not the champions. If they’re going to be the best ones one day I’d be interested to fight. I want champions, guys who have belts, and to unify titles.

“Of course, I’d like to fight some day in such a big arena. I’d never been – this was my first time I came to a show like that. I saw so many people, so many fans, and the atmosphere was very good.”

Asked of the prospect of one day following Usyk, who has signed with Matchroom, in working with a British promoter, he responded: “It depends on what kind of numbers we’re going to be talking.”

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Anthony Joshua battled flu as he retained IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles

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Anthony Joshua had felt like a gust of wind would knock him down ahead of his successful world heavyweight title defence last Saturday, due to a bout of flu.

Joshua could face Deontay Wilder or Dillian Whyte in his next fight – and there is also the prospect of a bout with Tyson Fury – after clinically stopping Alexander Povetkin to retain his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.

But a debilitating head cold meant the 28-year-old Watford fighter was worried he would not be in condition to perform at Wembley.

“I’ve been ill this last week,” he said in a number of national newspapers.

“And you know when you start thinking to yourself ‘these signs are bad’, but I pulled through.

“It hit me last week Friday. I had it over the weekend and I thought by Wednesday it would be gone. But I only started feeling better on Friday.

“It was still there in my head, I had a head cold. I felt like a heavy gust of wind could knock me over.

“On my way to the stadium, I was thinking I can have one more sleep.

“But I felt this way in training camp and still sparred 15 good rounds, so I’ve got one geezer in the ring who will fade sooner or later, so let’s just get on with it.”

Joshua is looking for an opponent for his April 13, 2019, date at Wembley – and Barry Hearn has warned Fury’s promoter Frank Warren that a 50-50 purse split is not acceptable.

A prospective all-British super-fight would be an intriguing and tantalising prospect to many, but Hearn, head of Joshua’s promoters Matchroom, responded furiously to an assertion from Warren on BBC 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme that the pair would share the proceeds of the big-money bout.

Fury is set to face WBC champion Wilder in the United States in December and it is widely assumed the winner will then open negotiations for a contest to unify the belts early next year.

Hearn, who watched Joshua dispatch Povetkin at Wembley on Saturday night, said: “It’s not a 50-50 split against the best heavyweight in the world – you can forget that completely.”

Hearn believes Wilder will beat Fury in December, which would pave the way for what would appear to be a much more straight-forward series of negotiations with the American’s camp.

And he turned his anger back on the show’s presenter Garry Richardson, adding: “It’s outrageous on national radio to try to agree terms to a commercial fight. You should know better, and Radio 5 should be ashamed of themselves.

Tyson Fury could fight Joshua next, but fears it could never happen.

Tyson Fury could fight Joshua next, but fears it could never happen.

“Wilder or Tyson Fury subject to terms on April 13, without a problem in the world – but you (Warren) will ask for a ridiculous amount of money and it won’t be made.”

Warren insisted if Fury does pull off an upset over Wilder, Joshua will be unable to escape the pressure to square off against his long-time domestic rival.

“I believe Tyson Fury will be the winner of that fight so why on earth would anyone want to stand in its way?” Warren added.

“Everybody is sensible enough to make sure that big fights happen and I don’t believe anybody will stop that fight from happening.

“The only person who can stop that fight happening is Anthony Joshua.”

Fury himself appeared less optimistic than Warren, though, and tweeted on Sunday in a post which appears to have since been deleted: “I have to say the saddest thing ever the British fight fans will never get to see Fury vs Joshua.

“That’s a crying shame! It’s the biggest British fight in history of boxing in Briton (sic) but sky & matchroom have robbed the paying public again. Ask yourself why don’t they want this?”

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See what Anthony Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn had to say about Tyson Fury

David Cooper 23/09/2018
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Anthony Joshua will take on Alexander Povetkin tonight

Anthony Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn has explosively weighed into who the heavyweight champion should fight next – and Tyson Fury will not be happy with what he said.

The IBF, WBO and WBA belt holder produced a seventh-round stoppage against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night at Wembley Stadium.

This immediately led to talk about who the Briton should fight next.

Watch what his promoter said when links to a scrap with Fury were brought up.

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