Usyk wants 'the heart of the king' in Joshua fight

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Oleksandr Usyk will step up to heavyweight and be "looking for the heart of the king" by fighting Anthony Joshua, according to his team.

Unbeaten Usyk (15-0) is considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world and added the IBF and WBA cruiserweight titles to his WBC and WBO belts by defeating Murat Gassiev by unanimous decision in Moscow in July.

The 31-year-old was last week added to the Matchroom stable that IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (21-0) is a part of, and a bout with the Briton his ultimate goal.

"Once he starts his journey in the elite division he would be looking for the heart of the king, and Joshua is the king at heavyweight right now," said Alexander Krassyuk of K2 promotions, who work alongside Matchroom for Usyk.

"So I can anticipate that Usyk versus Joshua could be something really, really extraordinary in modern boxing."

On Usyk's heavyweight debut, Krassyuk added: "We will make our best to make it happen by the end of next year."

First up, though, Usyk is expected to take on another Matchroom fighter in former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew.

The pair are set to meet later this year, with Bellew's last two fights – successive wins over David Haye – having been at heavyweight.

"Bellew is not a kid to get knocked out easily. We should not step too far ahead. But if Usyk wins, he will definitely move to heavyweight," Krassyuk said.