Anthony Joshua risks losing heavyweight titles, set to face Tyson Fury, Wilder

Anthony Joshua is willing to be stripped of his heavyweight world titles if it helps set up a fight against Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.

The Brit regained his WBA, IBF and WBO belts after outpointing Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last month.

By strapping the gold-plated leather back around his waist and shoulders, AJ once again became the man in demand in the blue-ribbon division.

He has mandatory challengers due from the IBF and WBO, with Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk respectively waiting for their shot at Joshua.

Both governing bodies have ordered Joshua to take on their mandatory fighter by the summer, threatening that the Englishman will be stripped of his belt if he fails to meet their demand.

By placating the WBO and IBF, Joshua would most likely fill up his 2020 calendar, delaying potential bouts against WBC champion Wilder and Fury even further.

But Joshua has now showed a willingness to relinquish his belts in order to make those mega-fights.

“I always said the belts do not represent me,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “I will stand as a champion, even if I have to give one up.

“It would give me an opportunity to face another world champion – I’ve beaten four world champions on my record now.

“If I give up a belt it creates more history and entertainment. If I have to, I’ll give it away – but I’ll get it back again.”

Wilder and Fury face each other on February 22 in Las Vegas for the latter’s WBC strap following their controversial draw last December.

Regardless of the result, Fury has reportedly had reassurances he will have a trilogy bout with the Bronze Bomber later in the year.

That would leave just the backend of 2020 open for Joshua to face one of his rivals.

Despite Joshua’s claims that he would give up his belts for a mega-fight, the 30-year-old said soon after reclaiming his straps that he wants to defend them.


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