Anthony Joshua to unify world titles in 2020? The bookies weigh in!

Leigh Copson:

Anthony Joshua heads into 2020 as the world heavyweight champion once again, but will this be the year in which he finally unifies the entire division or will it be the second straight year in which he surrenders the belts?

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Joshua avenged his shock June 1 defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr with a lop-sided decision win over the Mexican in early December, and that means once that again that all of the talk is about the former Olympic gold medallist finally going after the one world title that is not in his possession in 2020.

The unbeaten Deontay Wilder currently holds the WBC belt and is scheduled to defend it against Tyson Fury during the first few months of the year, and the winner of that bout surely has to face Joshua for all of the marbles later in the year.

Wilder escaped with a controversial draw when he fought Fury for the first time in 2018, and should he leave no doubts with a win in the rematch he is fancied to beat Joshua and become undisputed world heavyweight champion by the end of 2020.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ is a slight 4/5 favourite with Paddy Power for a potential unification bout next year, with Joshua far from written off at Even-money.

Should Fury go one better than he did just over a year ago he too is fancied to get the better of Joshua if the two men meet in 2020, with Paddy Power pricing up the former world heavyweight champion as an 8/13 favourite while considering Joshua a 5/4 underdog.

And what if Joshua fights somebody other than those two men?

Ruiz Jr was quick to call for a trilogy fight with Joshua after surrendering the belts in Saudi Arabia, but as far as the bookmakers are concerned the former champion would be made to regret asking for it.

Having seen Joshua outclass his conqueror over the 12 rounds Paddy Power make Joshua the overwhelming 1/8 favourite to win a deciding contest between the pair, with Ruiz Jr not completely written off but out at 9/2.

There is also a potential bout with former cruiserweight kingpin Oleksandr Usyk, who made a successful start to life in the heavyweight division during the summer of 2019.

Usyk’s arrival in the division has caused plenty of excitement, but the bookies believe the Ukrainian would come up short in a fight with Joshua, making the world heavyweight champion a 1/2 favourite while making Usyk a live underdog at 6/4.