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Joe Joyce has been installed as the WBO's next mandatory challenger
Joe Joyce has been installed as the WBO's next mandatory challenger

Joe Joyce has been installed as the next mandatory challenger for the WBO world heavyweight title — putting him on course for a potential battle of Britain with Anthony Joshua. 

The undefeated former Olympian climbed to second in the WBO rankings behind Oleksandr Usyk by defeating domestic rival Daniel Dubois last November. 

And with Carlos Takam up next at Wembley Arena on Saturday, Arsenal fan Joyce received a timely boost when it was revealed he will be in line to face the winner of the September 25 showdown between Joshua and Usyk.

But the Juggernaut, 35, is refusing to look too far into the future. He said: "I have to deal with what is in front of me. 

"I can’t be thinking too far ahead because that is when you end up getting caught. 

"So you have to deal with what is in front of you and then you can move onto bigger and better things."

Joyce’s status as the WBO mandatory could provide another obstacle in the way of a money-spinning unification bout between Joshua and WBC title-holder Tyson Fury.

AJ, who also holds the IBF and WBA Super world titles, switched his attention to Usyk after Deontay Wilder forced a trilogy fight with Fury, which has now been pushed back to October 9 due to the Gypsy King testing positive for coronavirus. 

AJ takes aim at Fury

With Usyk next on the horizon at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Joshua has plenty to think about. 

But it has not stopped the unified heavyweight king from aiming another verbal shot at arch-rival Fury about their fight falling through.  

Speaking to Sky Sports, Joshua, 31, said: "I don't want to point any fingers. I was definitely ready. We move forward. 

"I've got another challenger who's good, just as good. I have to be serious about him now. 

"He will definitely step up, he will definitely take the fight. That's what I need — people that are serious.

"I would have loved to have boxed for the undisputed championship because it was a big fight for the public. We had everything set up. 

"I have to move forward and not keep dwelling."

With Fury and Wilder set to trade leather once again later this year, Joshua still remains upbeat about his chances of boxing for the famous green and gold WBC belt. 

Anthony Joshua is ready to defend his gold at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Pic: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)
Anthony Joshua is ready to defend his gold at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Pic: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)

He added: "The most important fight for me is the next one but you have to have a vision of where you want to get to.

"I have to stay consistent and stay ready. Once I fight Usyk, who knows what will happen next. 

"Will I fight Fury, Wilder, Dillian Whyte, Andy Ruiz, Luis Ortiz? Who knows.

"I have to stay on track and ready for each fight but have a long-term plan. 

"It's about the belts, not the person. I don't mind who it is. I want to fight for legacy."

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21:08 (+00:00)16 Sep 2021 (Thu)