Anthony Joshua is targeting the Tyson Fury fight - but what next if he suffers defeat to Oleksandr Usyk?

Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua collides with undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO mandatory challenger, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office

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Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk engaged in a tense staredown at the weigh-in

Anthony Joshua is targeting a huge fight against Tyson Fury, but how would he recover from a shock defeat to Oleksandr Usyk? The Panel deliver their verdict...

Britain's heavyweight star defends his WBA, WBO and IBF belts against Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tonight, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Joshua could set up a massive showdown against Fury for all the world titles, but would a loss to Usyk end his ambitions of becoming an undisputed champion?

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Joshua has voiced his respect for Usyk

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Adam Smith

This is a fight that Anthony Joshua can lose. He starts as the favourite, because of his size and his improvements as a fighter, but could he suffer defeat? Of course he could. If Oleksandr Usyk gets into a rhythm and makes it really difficult, then it may go against Joshua.

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Is it the worst thing in the world if he loses? No. He lost to a 12-1 underdog in Andy Ruiz Jr and he rebuilt from that. Usyk is a very live mandatory challenger, who has never lost as a professional.

Anthony Joshua wants to fight for another three, four, five years. He's always told us that, and he wants to take on the best. Would it be a setback? Yes, very much so, but we'll just have to see what happens. This is a very serious fight, we all know how good Oleksandr Usyk is. Can Joshua recover from a loss? Yes, he can.

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Joshua vs Usyk could be a 'Fight of the Year,' says promoter Eddie Hearn

Matthew Macklin

Everyone thought it was the end of the world after AJ's defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr. They said he needed a serious rebuild and shouldn't go straight into the rematch. But AJ did, he won, and he produced a brilliant performance against Kubrat Pulev.

The Ruiz rematch regained AJ's confidence, but now he's back to his best after that Pulev win. You never want to lose, but of course when you do lose, you look a lot deeper at things and AJ has made adjustments. He's a better fighter now than he's ever been.

If he loses to Usyk, it's not the end of Anthony Joshua, but it could be the end of Joshua vs Fury.
Matthew Macklin

Losing that Tyson Fury fight is the big worry, because AJ and Fury are both over 30 now and they've both earned a lot of money. If AJ was defeated, that fight would lose some of its appeal, certainly in the short-term period. It might be a fight that ends up slipping away.

To keep the Fury fight alive, it is crucial that he beats Usyk. If he loses to Usyk, it's not the end of Anthony Joshua, but it could be the end of Joshua vs Fury.

Carl Froch

AJ can definitely come back from a defeat against Usyk, but you don't want to be losing at this stage of your career. In terms of the Tyson Fury fight, it would be an absolute disaster.

We need to see Joshua and Fury defending their titles and then fighting each other. If they don't, it's a nightmare.

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Joshua has been told - 'Don't try to outbox Usyk!'

It could be bad for AJ's confidence, losing to a smaller guy. If he gets technically out-boxed and beaten by the better man, he'll be frustrated more than totally dejected. I think he would be able to recover from it, because Usyk simply is so good. But it's a must-win fight for him. He can't lose to the smaller man, regardless of how good the smaller man is.

George Groves

Joshua went back to the drawing board after losing to Andy Ruiz Jr, he made those adjustments, and got the points victory. Joshua had made the mistake, he'd learned from it, and he wasn't going to do it again.

A loss now, with a huge money fight on the horizon versus the winner of Tyson Fury against Deontay Wilder, might be difficult to come back from. I would imagine that he can and will. His life, like many fighters, is boxing through and through. Joshua will have ambitions after boxing, but I doubt he will be satisfied with anything apart from perfection.

I'm sure they are supremely confident that they've got the right game-plan and the ability, and the talent to deal with Usyk. Of course, AJ has got so much natural size as an advantage and experience of competing at the highest level. A tremendous reach, fantastic punch power, so he's the favourite, but if Usyk survives the first couple of rounds, and starts to impose himself on this fight, then we might need to see something from Joshua that we've never seen before.

Johnny Nelson

I won't get excited about Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury until they get their next fights out of the way. Then lets have a conversation about that. I think it's possible for AJ to come back from a shock, but it's unthinkable.

Of course, bragging rights and everything, it would make it hard on the ear for AJ when he listens to somebody like Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.

I think AJ wins, but it's going to be dramatic.

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Joshua says the Usyk fight is the start of a new chapter

Dave Coldwell

A defeat for AJ is not unthinkable, because of the quality of the opponent. Do I think AJ wins? Yes, I do. But if Usyk won, would I be immensely shocked? No, I wouldn't, because Usyk is that good.

Usyk has to go back to what made him so good, in order to win this fight. If it's the Usyk we've already seen at heavyweight, he doesn't win it.

AJ vs Fury is always a massive fight. Has it been diminished because AJ lost to Andy Ruiz Jr? Not really. If AJ suffers a defeat to Usyk, then wins the rematch, it's still a huge fight.

Watch Joshua v Usyk on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Non-Sky TV subscribers can book and watch it here.

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