Anthony Joshua sent clear message by Eddie Hearn after Oleksandr Usyk appeal

Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua
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Eddie Hearn has informed Anthony Joshua that he should anticipate Oleksandr Usyk being stripped of his IBF title.

Usyk has lodged an appeal with the International Boxing Federation over his mandatory defence. The Ukrainian champion submitted a request for an exemption to maintain his rematch with Tyson Fury as an undisputed bout come December.

Following his win against Filip Hrgovic last weekend, Daniel Dubois is now the organisation's interim champion. Hearn believes that he and Joshua will be contending for the real deal this September.

In an interview with iFL TV, the Matchroom boss delivered a clear message to his star boxer, indicating their confidence that Usyk's appeal to keep hold of his belt will not succeed, reports the Express.

"The aim for us is for AJ to become heavyweight world champion, and if the IBF belt becomes available, which we expect it to be, and there's a chance of Dubois against AJ for the world heavyweight title, [it's] definitely a fight that appeals," Hearn said.

He acknowledged that there are multiple potential opponents in the mix, including Zhilei Zhang after his impressive performance against Deontay Wilder, and Joseph Parker, who is riding a five-fight victory wave as the WBO's interim champion,

However, he made it clear that Joshua's next match is not yet confirmed. Hearn remarked: "His excellency [Turki Alalshikh] would like AJ to headline at Wembley. Obviously it'd be incredible for us, for Riyadh Season, for British boxing.

"Who the opponent will be is undecided. Nothing agreed, or confirmed yet, but there is a press conference on the 26th of June and that is where the opponent will be announced. We're in talks with everybody."

He further explained that should the IBF title become vacant, Dubois would be the leading candidate to face AJ next. However, if things don't go as planned, an alternative opponent will be sought to keep AJ on his path back to the pinnacle of the division.