Eddie Hearn rules out former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury as Anthony Joshua's next opponent

Ross McLean
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Boxing at Wembley Stadium
Joshua secured the 19th victory of his professional career on Saturday (Source: Getty)

Promoter Eddie Hearn is adamant that Tyson Fury’s physical condition makes it impossible for the former champion to be the next opponent for heavyweight destroyer Anthony Joshua.

Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko after an 11th-round stoppage – the 19th knockout of his professional career – in front of 90,000 supporters at Wembley Stadium on Saturday to secure three of the four titles previously held by Fury.

Self-styled Gypsy King Fury, who relinquished all of his heavyweight crowns last year after his boxing licence was revoked pending an investigation into doping, has not competed since defeating Klitschko on points in November 2015.

Joshua and Fury have both indulged in posturing regarding a showdown in the aftermath of the former’s victory over Klitschko, although Hearn has ruled out the fight’s potential for the foreseeable future.

“We are desperate for that fight because AJ thinks he wins comfortably, it is a great fight and it is the biggest fight out there,” said Hearn. “But we can only concentrate on AJ’s career and guiding him.

“He [Fury] is miles away from fighting. He is in a terrible physical way at the moment. He doesn’t have a licence. He needs to go back to the [British Boxing] board, and he is under investigation for [an alleged] failed [doping] test.

“There is no one that wants to see him back more than me, but it is miles away. He is not the next fight because he won’t be ready in time.”

Fury, who has returned to full training, has claimed that he would not need a warm-up in order to defeat Joshua and would beat the former Olympic champion with “one arm tied behind my back”.

“AJ did really well to come back but I am not 41 or getting old. He is just a pumped-up weightlifter but Klitschko couldn’t land one of those hooks on me at all,” said Fury, 28.

Should Fury be overlooked as his next opponent, other candidates for Joshua to fight include Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker, WBC and WBO champions respectively, while a re-match with Klitschko is also a possibility.

The 41-year-old Ukrainian insists a re-match clause exists within his fight contract with Joshua, and indicated yesterday that he is keen to renew hostilities with the Briton.

Klitschko wrote on Twitter: “Leaving LND with a feeling everyone’s win Sat night the sport, the fans and even I on respect. Cheers & I’ll be back.”

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