Boxing: Anthony Joshua doubts super-fight with Tyson Fury will ever take place

Anthony Joshua doubts his super-fight against fellow British boxer Tyson Fury will ever happen.

The two heavyweight kingpins looked set for a two-bout series, with the first scheduled for Saudi Arabia in August.

But the fight was called off, after American Deontay Wilder successfully won an arbitration ruling that required Fury to defend his WBC title against the former champion.

That left WBO, WBA and IBF champion Joshua furious, with the Watford native calling Fury "a fraud" and questioning his integrity.

Speaking to the BBC, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn says his charge never truly believed the fight would materialise, despite signing the contract, and is convinced it will never happen.

"AJ never felt they wanted the fight, he never felt like Fury wanted it," says Hearn.

"I think AJ, in his head, probably thinks the fight will never happen. I would like to be more hopeful and I think it will happen."

Fury and Wilder will do battle in the United States next month for the third time, and with 'The Gypsy King' guaranteed a rematch if he fails to retain the title, a unification fight could still be years away.

Joshua has been ordered to defend the latter of those against mandatory challenger and former cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk.

The light at the end of the tunnel for Hearn would see victories for both Brits re-igniting conversations over an undisputed title fight.

"If AJ knocks out Usyk and Fury knocks out Wilder, then in four months, we are talking about an even bigger fight," adds Hearn.

"One could lose or look bad, but I do get the feeling if they both win, then the fight is huge. I am hoping it works out for the best."

Anthony Joshua (right) in action against Kubrat Pulev during their IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO Heavyweight World Titles bout at the Wembley Arena, London. (Photo by Andrew Couldridge/PA Images via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty Images
Eddie Hearn
Eddie Hearn Photo credit: Getty Images

Talks between the Joshua, 31, and Usyk camps continue, with their fight expected to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

Ukrainian Usyk, 34, has 18 wins from 18 bouts.