Anthony Joshua is willing to take on anyone but wants to prove he is the best heavyweight in the world by fighting Tyson Fury, says Eddie Hearn.
Joshua is preparing to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, his first fight of a year that has seen the boxing schedule hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bulgarian Pulev – who is the IBF's mandatory challenger – is a hurdle the champion needs to clear ahead of a potential unification showdown against WBC holder Fury, the British rivals having agreed a two-fight deal for 2021.
However, with Fury involved in a mediation process with former opponent Deontay Wilder over a potential trilogy fight, Oleksandr Usyk could offer an alternative option.
Promoter Hearn has made clear that Joshua is ready for any challenger in the ring, though the lucrative showdown with Fury remains his top priority.
"AJ has consistently proved that he will fight all-comers – mandatory challengers, unified champions, future hall-of-famers," Hearn told Sky Sports.
"Now he's doing it again [with Pulev], and that's why when you talk about Usyk, he will fight Usyk no problems at all, but he wants to fight Tyson Fury.
"He wants to prove he's the best heavyweight in the world and undisputed or not, we will do everything we can to make sure it is. Not one person can have any doubt after that fight, who the baddest man on the planet is."
Move with a positive team & doors will open pic.twitter.com/ZRQUmyhdBa— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) November 9, 2020
Fury had planned to make a title defence before the end of 2020 – Agit Kabayel was lined up as an opponent for December – but announced on Twitter on Sunday that he will not now be back in the ring until next year.
'The Gypsy King' secured the belt by sensationally stopping Deontay Wilder in February, while also holds a point win over Wladimir Klitschko on his record.
Hearn, though, insists Fury's CV does not come close to stacking up when compared to who Joshua has faced – and beaten – since turning pro.
"It makes me laugh when people look at AJ's resume," Hearn said. "Maybe I'm seeing something other people don't?
"I mean Dillian Whyte, Dominic Breazeale, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Carlos Takam, Andy Ruiz, Kubrat Pulev.
"These are consecutive fights. You don't see Tom Schwarz, Otto Wallin, Sefer Serferi. Who is the other geezer? I can't even remember his name, the Italian bloke? And then Agit Kabayel.
"I mean it's laughable when you compare the two resumes, but it's in black and white for everyone to see."