Hearn: Joshua is already No.1 heavyweight

Anthony Joshua is already the No 1 heavyweight in the world and Tyson Fury would be a simple fight for the IBF champion, says Barry Hearn.

Joshua needed only 16 fights to claim a world title, stopping Charles Martin in the second round to claim the IBF belt in April.

The unbeaten 26-year-old has won all of his bouts by knockout and will be hoping to extend this run when he makes the first defence of his title against Dominic Breazeale on Saturday night at The O2.

Fury is considered the top champion in the division after dethroning Wladimir Klitschko to take the WBA and WBO belts in November, while Wilder holds the WBC title, but Hearn insists Joshua will prove himself as a superior fighter.

Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Sport, told Sky Sports: “I think I’ve got the best heavyweight for the next 10 years on the planet. I can’t see anyone beating him. I think the kid is outstanding and I think he’s got a lot of improvement left in him yet.

“Even as he is today, he’s the best heavyweight in the world. What he’s going to be like in two years’ time is frightening.”

Initial talks have already taken place about a future fight between Joshua and Fury, who will face Klitschko in a rematch in Manchester on July 9.

Hearn fears that Klitschko could exact a convincing revenge win over Fury, but insists a fight with Joshua will still be on the table, even if the Wilmslow man suffers his first professional defeat.

“Tyson had an amazing result to beat Klitschko, but you have to say that Klitschko only threw five punches in the entire fight,” said Hearn. “If the real Klitschko turns up, Tyson could have a problem.

“If Klitschko is completely shot, Fury will win again, and I really hope that he does. If Klitschko turns up, he could make Tyson look silly. We have to wait and see, but win or lose there is a massive fight with Anthony Joshua. Win or lose.

“I would rather he won, because it’s even bigger. It’s an 80,000 sell out at Wembley, it’s a million pay-per-view buys, plus the global, because it’s a great fight to watch.

“I know the Joshua camp really want that fight. It’s a very straightforward fight for Joshua, very straightforward. But it doesn’t really matter – my thoughts are only my opinion.

“When they get in the ring, then we’ll see what they’ve got. I think Fury is made for Joshua, because of the way he boxes, the way he stands.

“He’s not a great big puncher and he can’t take a shot. That’s my view. I mean [Steve] Cunningham dropped him. When a cruiserweight puts you on your ass, you have to ask some serious questions.

“But he’s very engaging, he’ll sell the fight, and it will be a massive, massive fight.”