Former two division world champion Bernard Hopkins has given his take on a potential 2021 unification clash between heavyweight beltholders Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
Both boxers have upcoming commitments to deal with.
Fury will be facing Deontay Wilder in a trilogy fight for the WBC world title, while Joshua has to make a mandatory defense when he stakes the WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO titles against Kubrat Pulev.
Should they both come away with the titles, and deal with outstanding mandatory orders, they will be in line to collide next year.
There have already been discussions for a two-fight series in 2021. The boxers agreed on a 50-50 split in the first bout, with the winner getting a 60-40 edge in the rematch.
“The heavyweight division was asleep for a decade until Deontay Wilder, Joshua and Fury surfaced. Four or five other names are knocking on the door to be threatening contenders,” Hopkins told Sky Sports.
“But let’s just deal with those three right now. Joshua vs Fury is a fight that both guys could win or lose. I like Joshua to be tested, to get his feelings hurt early – that might be a knockdown but he will get up.
“Because of the lesson that he learned being, not unprepared, but overconfident he paid a big price. He redeemed himself. Now that is in his memory – what not to do ever again – Joshua beats Fury by knockout late. It will be an interesting, exciting five or six rounds at the beginning. Then Joshua’s athleticism, boxing IQ and experience would overwhelm Fury.
“Joshua would come out of a dust-storm based on his experience. At this point he has to make a really serious statement based on [the Andy Ruiz loss]. Redemption. This fight is Joshua’s stamp of approval of being great. He’s not there yet. He is in legacy building mode.”