Oleksandr Usyk chasing Anthony Joshua showdown, says promoter
Usyk, who is undefeated in 15 professional bouts, will set his sights on boxing’s biggest prize - but must first overcome the challenge of Bellew, the former WBC cruiserweight champion and recent two-time conqueror of David Haye.
Joshua is scheduled to make a defense of his heavyweight titles in April of next year, rumored to be against the winner of the upcoming clash between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
However, Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn, who has a multi-fight contract with Usyk, says the Ukrainian could be in line soon after.
“After the Bellew fight,” Hearn told Sky Sports of Usyk’s timeline for a move to heavyweight.
“Basically if Usyk wins this fight, and probably if he loses this fight, he goes to heavyweight straight away. That’s [Joshua] the one they want.
“It won’t be the first one, as I think Usyk will want to fight at heavyweight first. There are loads of fights out there for him.”
Usyk is the first boxer in history to hold all four major titles in the cruiserweight division. The London 2012 Olympic gold medalist has won all 15 of his professional bouts in his five-year career.
Dillian Whyte, meanwhile, whose only career loss came to Joshua in 2015, is also being considered for a rematch with his compatriot should the winner of Wilder versus Fury be unable to agree terms for an April bout.
"Usyk is really like a perfect boxer," Joshua said to Sky Sports of this weekend's bout. "I hope Bellew is working on his counter punches as well, because that's the way to knock him out I think.
"Let him tippy tap, and get in his rhythm, and then just kind of explode. As we've seen, Bellew can counter punch, and he's got a dirty left hook on him.
"If he can land that, I think he'll do well."