Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz winner ordered to fight Oleksandr Usyk as he’s made WBO mandatory challenger

Heavyweights will meet in a rematch later this year for the IBF, WBA and WBO titles with the winner set to face the unbeaten Ukrainian

Anthony Joshua reacts to shocking Andy Ruiz defeat

Oleksandr Usyk could face the winner of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr after being named mandatory challenger by the WBO.

Joshua’s camp are in talks with Ruiz for a rematch of his shock defeat at Madison Square Garden, which saw the Mexican-American inflict a shock sixth-round defeat after knocking the former champion down four times.

Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, is confident that the Watford-born boxer will avenge the first defeat of his career when the pair meet again – set to be in New York once more as was revealed by The Independent – which could set-up a superfight showdown between two of his best boxers.

Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing took on Usyk when he beat former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew and stepped up to the heavyweight division, though he is yet to make his debut at the weight due to injury.

However, the WBO has installed the 32-year-old Ukrainian as its mandatory challenger, meaning a potential showdown between Joshua and Usyk could be on the cards in early 2020.

Usyk would prove a dangerous opponent for either Joshua or Ruiz, having left the cruiserweight division as the undisputed champion and World Boxing Super Series champion with an unblemished 16 professional wins, 12 of which came by knockout.

At the time of his last victory over Bellew, Usyk was rated among the pound-for-pound very best, though it remains to be seen how he would cope with the step up in weight division given that he has not boxed since last November, having been forced to withdraw from his planned debut against Carlos Takam in May.

Joshua and Ruiz are yet to agree terms on a rematch deal, though a clause in the original contract has been triggered by Joshua with the pair expected to meet again in New York towards the end of the year.

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