Anthony Joshua has given fresh hope that he will fight fellow world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury next with the belief that Oleksandr Usyk will step aside to allow the undisputed fight to take place in 2021.
The Ukrainian is the mandatory challenger with the WBO and will need to be paid to step aside with further guarantees of a shot within a certain period of time.
Joshua, who dispatched Kubrat Pulev last time out, could meet Fury this year to decide the first undisputed champion at heavyweight since Lennox Lewis, who achieved the feat in 1999 with victory over Evander Holyfield.
And Joshua believes Usyk will gladly wait for his opportunity following his victory over Derek Chisora last time out as he continues his journey in the division after moving up from cruiserweight.
“I think Usyk will be keen to step aside and let the fight happen,” Joshua said. “We’ve reached out to his management team. He’s a reasonable person and he’ll understand the magnitude of this situation.
“If I go right I’ve got Tyson Fury – tough fight. If I go left, I’ve got Usyk, another tough fight. Ideally I’ll go right but ultimately all I want to do is focus on the fight. It’s a challenge for me.
“I respect Fury, he’s done great things. But I want to challenge myself. If that’s with Tyson Fury for the WBC title I promise you I will go that route. I will take that opportunity with both hands and both feet.”