Johnny Nelson believes Anthony Joshua will retire if he loses to Oleksandr Usyk on August 20 as he claims ‘AJ’ is not a “back-up dancer.” While Joshua prepares for his do-or-die rematch with the Ukrainian at the King Abdullah Sport City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia a lot has been made about what could be next for the Brit if he fails to beat his rival at the second time of asking.

If ‘AJ’ overcomes the odds next month then it is almost certain he will square off against Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight crown but if he loses it less clear. Former cruiserweight world champion, Nelson, has been very vocal about the importance of ‘AJ’s’ next encounter and has now gone on record to suggest that Joshua will not fight again if he is beaten by Usyk in their second fight.

“AJ is no back-up dancer, AJ it’s in his DNA he wants to be the best. Is he happy to be a back-up dancer and box on the peripherals? I don’t think so,” Nelson told iD Boxing.

“What he decides to do if he loses, that’s his shout, but I just don’t think it’s in his DNA to be that guy that stays in the division knowing he can’t be the best. There are some big fights out there for him, but I’d be surprised. I’m curious to see, very curious.”

“The question I get asked the most is, ‘When is AJ going to fight Tyson Fury?’ Honestly, Joshua could have skipped this fight and fought Tyson Fury. That fight is always going to be the biggest in boxing, isn’t it? He doesn’t want to; he wants to win his belts back,” Hearn told iFL TV.

“He thinks he can beat Oleksandr Usyk, so he should be getting tremendous credit for not just fighting him once but going straight back into the rematch. I believe AJ-Fury will happen regardless of what happens on August 20th. But if and when AJ wins, that fight is the biggest fight in the history of the sport. Not just our generation, but the history of the sport.”