Great Britain

Anthony Joshua’s possible opponents across 2020 if heavyweight champ is frozen out by Wilder and Fury again

HAVING regained the unified heavyweight world titles again, Anthony Joshua has laid claim to being the king of the division.

But Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, who rematch on Saturday, are already insisting the victor of their fight will win more than the WBC title which hangs in the balance in Las Vegas.

The winner, they will claim, will be the best the division has to offer.

Joshua, being made to look on from a distance after being frozen out, is desperate to get in the mix with Wilder and Fury to stake his claim for the No1 position.

But with two mandatory challengers waiting in the wings, and the Bronze Bomber and the Gypsy King also signed for a trilogy, AJ faces being made to wait for his undisputed title decider.

Here SunSport takes a look at opponents Joshua could face should he once again miss out on the mega-fights.

Kubrat Pulev

After Joshua exacted revenge on Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia, he received a heavyweight headache after being mandated by the IBF to face Pulev and ordered by the WBO to fight Oleksandr Usyk.

But the IBF was already first in line, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed, with AJ set to defend his trio of world titles against the Bulgarian.

The fight is targeted for May or June, with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium leading the way to host the event, though discussions with Arsenal's Emirates Stadium have also taken place.

Pulev pulled out of fighting Joshua in 2017 with an injury, with Carlos Takam coming in as a replacement and losing in the tenth round.

Oleksandr Usyk

Former undisputed cruiserweight king Usyk was immediately named WBO mandatory challenger for Joshua’s belt as soon as he moved up to heavyweight, per the governing bodies rules.

But he has been made to wait until AJ first faces Pulev, and promoter Hearn plans to keep the southpaw busy with a summer showdown against Derek Chisora.

Usyk has then been told he can face the winner between Joshua and Pulev.

The Ukrainian's masterful footwork and balance has been touted as a threat to AJ’s throne but the 6ft 6in 17st Brit will feel he is too powerful for the heavyweight newbie.

Dillian Whyte

Before Joshua was stunned by Ruiz in June, negotiations had taken place for the Watford ace to rematch Whyte in London.

But the Body Snatcher was not happy with the terms of the rematch clause which was the deal breaker and ultimately AJ would make his US debut while Whyte missed out on a world title shot.

Whenever talks to fight Wilder or Fury collapsed, Whyte was always the backup option having proved countless times he is deservant of a shot at the belt. But the Brixton banger insists he will not be low-balled at the negotiation table.

Joshua was beaten by his London rival in the amateurs but got revenge in the rematch six years later with a KO in 2015.

Andy Ruiz Jr

When Joshua travelled 4,000 miles away to rematch Ruiz, he did so with his career on the line.

AJ boxed and moved his way to a smart decision victory but was aided by the fact Ruiz waddled to the ring at 20st 3lb and put on a lacklustre display to end his brief six months as champion.

The Mexican-American wasted no time in calling for the another rematch in the immediate aftermath, but left the impression he was more worried about securing another mega-bucks payday rather than a shot at the titles.

However, BEFORE the career-defining win, Joshua insisted he will share the ring with Ruiz again, and the chubby ex-champ will only be a few relevant wins away from being in contention again.

Jarrell Miller

Joshua’s brief career downfall began after Miller failed multiple pre-fight drug tests as Ruiz came in on seven weeks notice and scored the biggest heavyweight upset since Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson 30 years prior.

But the loudmouth American soon got fans invested in the would-be showdown with his pre-fight trash-talk, that AJ later admitted had him fired up.

Despite dragging his name through the mud, Miller has served his measly six months suspension and already signed a deal rival promotion Top Rank.

After the war of words with Big Baby in the summer, promoter Hearn revealed Joshua still wants to make Miller pay with the fight still possible for the British golden boy.