Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk could become a reality in 2020.
That's according to Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, a three-belt heavyweight world titleholder.
It is rumored that Usyk (16-0, 12 KO's), 31, of Ukraine, a southpaw, will make his heavyweight debut in May against Alexander Povetkin.
Usyk, who beat Krzysztof Glowacki -- in Poland -- to win the cruiserweight world title in just his 10th professional fight, broke the division record previously set by all-time great Evander Holyfield, who won the WBA 200-pound title in just his 12th professional bout.
Of course, Joshua (22-0, 21 KO's) needs no introduction. He is a superstar in his native United Kingdom and regularly draws sold-out crowds, including a British-record 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in London for his electrifying 11th-round knockout of all-time great Wladimir Klitschko in the 2017 fight of the year. Joshua made three consecutive defenses. In his most recent triumph, he scored a seventh-round knockout of the aforementioned Povetkin.
Joshua is set to make U.S. debut on June 1 against top contender Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He will first have to get past Miller, but even if that happens at the "Mecca of Boxing," a fall bout against Usyk is not on the table.
"No. That fight comes in 2020," Hearn told Sky Sports in regards to the possibility of staging Joshua vs. Usyk later this year.
"Usyk will fight in May, probably in his heavyweight debut, potentially against Alexander Povetkin.
"Then he'll have one more. Then it looks like the WBO will make him mandatory for Anthony Joshua. I see that fight happening in spring 2020."
Usyk had a breakout year in 2018 which culminated with his victory in the eight-man World Boxing Super Series tournament to become the undisputed cruiserweight champion. Not only did he win the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy, but he defeated all three of his opponents in their home countries. He also became just the third undisputed champion in the four-belt era since 2004, joining Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, and top pound-for-pound elite Terence Crawford.
In January, Usyk defeated Mairis Briedis in his hometown of Riga, Latvia, in January and won a very close majority decision to unify two belts and advance to the WBSS finals. Briedis was the more accurate puncher during the bout, but Usyk's punch volume and activity were just enough to propel him to the win.
Usyk traveled to Moscow for the WBSS final in July against then-two-belt titleholder Murat Gassiev and put on a boxing clinic to unify all four titles by unanimous decision.
Usyk, who signed a promotional deal with Hearn last fall, also returned in November to defend his belts against former champion Tony Bellew, who had been fighting as a heavyweight for two fights, but came down in weight to face Usyk. The first half of the fight was close, but Usyk started to walk down Bellew, and scored a one-punch knockout in the eighth round.