Anthony Joshua’s next fight if he beats Oleksandr Usyk revealed with WBA set to name mandatory challenger

Anthony Joshua’s next fight should he beat Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch early next year could be against WBA mandatory challenger Robert Helenius, according to his manager.

Joshua was comprehensively defeated by Usyk in an unanimous decision at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium last month but will look to regain his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles against the unbeaten Ukrainian in spring next year.

Helenius is set to be named the WBA’s mandatory challenger after he defeated Adam Kownacki in a final eliminator on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s victory over Deontay Wilder.

The WBA is next in line for a mandatory defence after Joshua fought IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev last October and then WBO mandatory Usyk, and the sanctioning body could take priority over a potential unification bout against WBC champion Fury.

That could make the Helenius, who was beaten by Dillian Whyte in 2017, the next opponent for either Joshua or Usyk, depending on who wins the rematch.

“We have respect for the WBA, and we think that ultimately they will do the correct thing and formally order Robert as the next mandatory,” the Finnish heavyweight’s manager Markus Sundman told Sky Sports.

“The WBA mandatory is due next, and that must be Robert. Right now we are focused on the WBA mandatory position.

“Robert fought a WBA elimination bout in March 2020 against Adam Kownacki, and he placed a stamp on that victory in the rematch on October 9.

“There is no more deserving challenger in the WBA. Charr, Bryan, Dubois, are they more deserving? I think not.

“Sometimes you have to dig your heels in the ground and fight for something important, and I can’t think of anything in sport more important than the heavyweight championship.

“We will do what is necessary to assure Robert’s rightful position as Usyk’s next WBA mandatory.”

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