ANTHONY JOSHUA has jumped a place in the WBC rankings – despite not winning since his last defeat.
The former heavyweight world champion is currently rated No5 by the governing body, after Robert Helenius, 38, dropped out.
Following consecutive points losses to Usyk, 35, Joshua, 33, was frozen out of the title picture.
But he was handed a shock No6 ranking in the WBC after talks emerged for him to challenge champion Tyson Fury.
Negotiations for the proposed December 3 Battle of Britain bout later broke down.
And it leaves Fury, 34, still returning on the date in a trilogy fight against Derek Chisora, 38, who he beat in 2011 and 2014.
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Whereas AJ is taking some time off the sport to mentally recover, with his return eyed in early 2023.
But he does so well placed in the WBC, ranked behind only Arslanbek Makhmudov, Frank Sanchez, Andy Ruiz Jr and Deontay Wilder.
Joshua looked ready to return before the year's end but promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed when his next fight will likely take place.
Hearn told IFL TV: “When you miss an opportunity like Fury, then your mojo goes a little bit, then you get to November and you’re like: ‘I’m probably not going to fight in December’.
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“Then it’s like ‘I’ve got Christmas and I’m not going to fight in January’ and then February’s there and before you know it you’re looking at March.
“[Joshua’s] stayed out in the Middle East, he’s having a holiday and then he’s going to go back into camp.
"The plan for us is the middle/end of March really. Then you get comments like ‘Why’s he’s going to March?’
"Just because he wanted a couple more weeks holiday really. He’s still focused, still hungry.”
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