Anthony Joshua has entered the WBC heavyweight rankings in the latest step towards a potential all-British showdown with champion Tyson Fury.
The two-time world champion has been inserted at No 6 following successive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, who retained the WBA, IBF and WBO belts by split decision in last month’s rematch in Saudi Arabia.
Fury, who knocked out Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April, had seemingly been open to an undisputed clash against Usyk before learning the Ukrainian would not be ready to box again until 2023.
He has since taken to social media to call out Joshua and offered the 32-year-old a 60-40 purse for a fight that had been due to take place in August 2021 before an arbitration judge ruled that Deontay Wilder was entitled to a third fight with Fury.
Joshua’s entry into the top 15 as a former world champion meets the WBC’s criteria for a champion for Fury to defend his titles in either a voluntary or mandatory defence.
Fury recently outlined November 26 at Wembley or December 3 at Cardiff as potential dates for the fight.
There is no current mandatory challenger in place to face Fury, with Wilder No 1 in the ratings ahead of his eliminator against Robert Helenius in October and Andy Ruiz No 2 following his recent victory over Luis Ortiz in their eliminator.
Fury has meanwhile been challenged to a fight by Mahmoud Charr, who has a record of 33-4 (19 knockouts) after recording a third-round knockout of Nikola Milačić in May.
The 37-year-old has also just entered the WBC rankings at No 19 as a former WBA regular champion.
“Tyson Fury, take the fight. I’m ready to knock you out. Take my challenge. I’m ready for you, man. No excuses,” said Charr in a social media video at the beginning of the month.
Fury responded: “Diamond Boy, I’ve got a certain little middleweight that I’ve got to put that fist through first. However, if he doesn’t want no smoke, you can surely get it. Pressure will break diamonds.”