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Frampton Urges Active Joshua To Face Hrgovic While Waiting For Usyk-Fury Winner

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Former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton has urged former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (28-3, 25 KOs) to maintain his activity and momentum and not wait for the winner of the undisputed heavyweight encounter between Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) and Tyson Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs). 

In his last appearance, on March 8, Joshua continued his positive momentum with a destructive two-round demolition of former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The victory solidified Joshua’s improvements and progress in 2023, with three straight wins following back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022. 

The former unified world champion is in prime position to challenge the winner of the undisputed heavyweight title fight between Usyk and Fury, which will take place on May 18 in Riyadh. 

The pair, however, have rematch clauses in place, meaning Joshua will likely have to wait for his opportunity to challenge either of them with the former Olympic champion likely having to wait until 2025 at the earliest. 

However, Frampton has advised Joshua to maintain his ring activity and not wait around, suggesting Joshua should face the unbeaten Filip Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs). 

The Croatian is currently rated as the IBF’s mandatory challenger for the IBF world title but, like Joshua, will also be forced to wait for his opportunity to face Usyk or Fury. 

The ongoing status of the IBF title is a subject of speculation because the sanctioning body is reportedly unwilling to extend grace to the winner of the May 18 contest and wants to force the newly-crowned undisputed champion to fulfill his mandatory obligations with Hrgovic. 

If the IBF becomes vacant, Hrgovic and Joshua will be ordered to negotiate and contest the vacant title. 

Speaking to TNT Sports, the Northern Irishman believes that a fight against Hrgovic is very winnable for Englishman.

“If I’m AJ, I think I will take a Hrgovic fight,” Frampton told TNT Sports.

“I think Hrgovic is made for AJ. It’s a very, very winnable fight for AJ. I’d have him as a strong favorite in that fight.”

“It keeps a bit of momentum going while he’s waiting. He can’t wait on Usyk and Fury, it could be three fights, maybe. So, I think take a fight and hopefully get the winner after.” 

Frampton has praised Joshua for keeping active and breaking from the norms of high-profile boxers with Joshua fighting four times over the last year. 

“I like it,” Frampton continued. “We complain a lot when fighters aren’t that active.

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