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Who should Anthony Joshua fight first, Pulev or Usyk?

Both fights have officially been ordered, but if you could pick, which would you rather see first?

British boxer Anthony Joshua wins back his world heavyweight titles in Saudi Arabia Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

As you’ve probably heard by now, Anthony Joshua regained the WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titles on Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia, widely outpointing Andy Ruiz Jr six months after being stopped by the same man in New York.

You may have also heard, either going in or right after, that two of those titles had mandatory defenses due. You may have also also heard that both the IBF and WBO have ordered those fights. The IBF has ordered Joshua against Kubrat Pulev, while the WBO has ordered Joshua against Oleksandr Usyk.

The conventional wisdom is that Pulev (28-1, 14 KO) will get the first crack. The 38-year-old Bulgarian veteran is promoted by Top Rank, who will certainly push for their man to be next in line for AJ. Not only is Pulev not getting any younger, but there may still be the sense that Joshua is vulnerable, even coming off of a very sound victory over Ruiz where the British superstar boxed very comfortably and very effectively.

There is also the believe that Usyk (17-0, 13 KO) may be easier to stall, as he’s promoted by Matchroom, same as Joshua, and it could be easier to get the Ukrainian, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, to wait a bit longer before taking his crack.

It seems that Pulev and Usyk are probably the next two in line for Joshua either way, but simply for the sake of discussion and to see if people care who goes first, which would you rather see? Setting all political stuff aside, which fight of these two would you, personally, most want to see next for Joshua?


Who would you rather see AJ face next?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Kubrat Pulev
    (446 votes)
  • 61%
    Oleksandr Usyk
    (719 votes)
1165 votes total Vote Now

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