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British promoter Eddie Hearn has called for world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua to have one more fight before challenging Tyson Fury for the undisputed title.
Hearn believes the 30-year-old should take on another opponent after his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr at Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
Joshua regained his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world titles when he beat Ruiz on points in Saudi Arabia in December 2019.
The heavyweight champion is now set to face Fury to decide the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.
However, Hearn believes Joshua should take one more fight before challenging Fury, who is the WBC champion.
“I think he should have one more fight before he fights Fury,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “I think it will be a much bigger fight if he can go in there unbeaten. If he can win the WBC and the rest of the belts, great. But I think he should have one more fight.”
Hearn revealed that the potential opponents being considered for Joshua's next fight include Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev, and Oleksandr Usyk.
“I would lean towards Pulev,” Hearn said. “Usyk is an interesting one. He’s the WBO mandatory, and he’s still got to fight Derek Chisora. Usyk’s a great fight for AJ.”
Joshua and Fury have been involved in a war of words in recent weeks, but Hearn believes the two should focus on their respective fights and then come together for an undisputed showdown.
“They’re both talking and that’s great,” Hearn said. “But let’s not forget that they’ve still got to fight. AJ’s still got to go and defend his titles against Ruiz Jr. Fury’s got to fight Deontay Wilder. They’ve both got to win those fights before they can even think about the other.”