Frank Warren thinks Joshua should step aside from his rematch with Usyk and take a warm-up fight to get his “winning mentality” back
Joshua lost his heavyweight titles for the second time in four fights when Usyk outpointed him last month in London.
Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn revealed last weekend they officially activated the rematch clause, with the second fight targeted for next spring.
Joshua – who Hearn admitted is ” sulking ” after the loss – is expected to be an underdog in the rematch as he aims to become a three-time heavyweight champion.
But Fury’s co-manager Frank Warren thinks Joshua needs a warm-up fight to reinstall a “winning mentality” before facing Usyk again.
He told Sky Sports : “He shouldn’t be going through with it. It’s his choice. If he knocks it on the head, it opens the door for us to do the unification.
“Let AJ get a warm-up fight. He needs a winning mentality before he goes into [an Usyk rematch]. Maybe he fights the winner [of Fury vs Usyk] which is still a big fight.”
Fury’s fighting future is uncertain after the undefeated Brit has pondered with retirement since putting his rivalry with Wilder to rest.
If Fury is to return to the ring it will likely be against WBC mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte in December, if he can get past Otto Wallin later this month.
And Warren assessed how a potential fight between Fury and Usyk would go whilst doubting Joshua’s chance in his upcoming rematch.
“They have similar skills. Tyson wouldn’t fight him like AJ did. Tyson would use his physical attributes, his size and reach, and would win the fight,” he continued.
“But it can’t happen because they’ve made a rematch with AJ, I think Usyk will beat him again.
“If there had been another 20 seconds, Usyk would have stopped AJ. He wobbled him early and nearly took him out. Next time around he will fancy knocking AJ over.
“The only way AJ can beat him is to do what Wilder did – to impose himself. I can’t see AJ winning that rematch.”
Joshua’s recent loss has seen him plummet in the estimation of some pundits, with Warren ranking him as the sixth-best current heavyweight.
The legendary promoter did admit to a bit of bias as he manages the likes of Fury, Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois.
But he still thinks if Joshua was stood across from Wilder this past weekend the Brit would have lost.
He told BT Sport : “I think he probably comes in at number six now. I look and think what would’ve happened had Anthony Joshua of boxed Wilder on Saturday night, who would you’ve had your money on?”
“I would have backed Wilder all day long with the performance he put in.”