firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris McKenna)
Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua moved a step closer to their undisputed heavyweight clash after Dillian Whyte’s defeat by Alexander Povetkin.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed the Russian’s brutal knockout of Whyte has removed a major obstacle in making one of British boxing’s biggest ever fights.
Whyte was set to force his mandatory clash with WBC champion Fury early next year if he beat Povetkin but now the Gypsy King is clear to face Joshua a super fight potentially worth more than £200m.
That is if Fury beats Deontay Wilder and Joshua defends his WBA, IBF and WBO titles against Kubrat Pulev in December.
Hearn said: “One of the stumbling blocks was Dillian being called for the mandatory.
“That frees up Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua after the Deontay Wilder fight.
“I wanted Dillian to win but he did lose.
“We need to get Dillian back in the saddle but it will allow Tyson Fury some breathing space.”
Fury’s UK promoter Frank Warren was never keen on making the Whyte fight anyways but that removes one issue.
Joshua must beat Pulev also while there is the potential for the WBO to call Oleksandr Usyk’s mandatory early next year.
But Bob Arum, who is Fury’s US promoter and also guides Pulev’s career believes the Bulgarian will throw a spanner in the works.
The American said: “Dillian Whyte was so busy fighting for his WBC mandatory position that he didn’t see Povetkin’s uppercut, which knocked him cold on his a**.
“Pulev will KO Joshua next. London Bridges are falling.”
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Meanwhile, Andy Ruiz Jr mocked Whyte after his brutal knockout by Povetkin.
The Mexican said he was delighted the Brit got bashed up by the Russian.
Whyte had called the former world champion a “fat c***” after they failed to agree to a fight earlier this year.
But Ruiz had the last laugh after Whyte was knocked out by Povetkin in the fifth round.
He said: “I was so happy that Whyte got his a*** knocked the f*** out.
“You know what, because he doesn’t have respect for the fighters – that’s what gets me p***ed off.”