Anthony Joshua told he’s at a career ‘crossroads’ and ‘can’t afford another loss’ if he wants to fight Tyson Fury

ANTHONY JOSHUA has been warned he “can’t afford another loss” if he wants to throw down with Tyson Fury.

The former two-time unified heavyweight champion is in a rebuilding stage of his career following back-to-back losses to pound-for-pound king Oleksandr Usyk.

GettyAnthony Joshua is in the rebuilding phase of his career[/caption]

AJ is out of the world title picture following back-to-back losses to Oleksandr UsykGETTY

Barry Hearn believes a third defeat would be catastrophic for AJGETTY

Defeat in his comeback fight early next year would be catastrophic for Joshua’s hopes of returning to the world title picture.

And Barry Hearn – the father of AJ’s promoter Eddie – believes another loss would spell curtains for the Brit’s career.

The Matchroom founder told Sky Sports: “He is at a crossroads in his career.

“He can’t afford another loss.”

WBC heavyweight king Fury has been hot and cold about a historic domestic dust-up with AJ over the last few weeks.

But Hearn believes the fight has to come to fruition for the sake of British boxing history.

He said: “The fight we all want to see eventually is AJ against Fury.

“You’ll get stories – Tyson will say the fight is never going to happen, Joshua will say he’d rather fight Dillian White.

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“Forget all of that.

“This fight has to happen, and I think it does happen at the tail-end of 2023, for all the marbles.”

SunSport understands Joshua, 33, is on course to return to the ring in late March.

An opponent, however, has yet to be finalised – with talks still ongoing.

Hearn said: “I think Dillian [Whyte] is on the list.

“There’s a few other names – Deontay Wilder might be there, Otto Wallin. It’s his call.”

Despite being eager to get back in the win column, AJ has no intention of hastily rushing back to the ring.

He said last month: “I don’t know [when I’ll be back].

“I was supposed to be in the ring this year, I’m going to be in the ring next year.

“I’ll be in the ring when I’m in the ring.

GETTYAnthony Joshua is expected to return to the ring early next[/caption]

“I don’t want to make statements today and then I’ll get held to the cross.

“Do you know what I mean? When I’m ready, I’ll be back in the ring.”

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