Oleksandr Usyk
Oleksandr Usyk will eventually move up and challenge for the heavyweight titles. In this picture, Usyk of Ukraine celebrates victory over Tony Bellew of England after the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF & Ring Magazine World Cruiserweight Title Fight at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, Nov. 10, 2018. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is the betting favorite should he face unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in a potential 2019 clash.

Usyk capped off a sensational 2018 with an eight-round TKO victory over Tony Bellew in Manchester over the weekend to successfully retain his titles.

It adds to a calendar year that saw him become the unified champion at 200 pounds with victories over Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev to win the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final.

Next up for the Ukrainian seems to be a move up to heavyweight where he could potentially challenge Joshua, who holds three of the four titles as of now.

While a move to heavyweight has been talked about in the past, Usyk is focused on taking some rest before pursuing the move up.

“It’s too early. If you want to speak of this then you can speak of this but we still need to wait a little bit," Usyk said after the fight, as quoted on Boxing Scene. “You must be professional in taking those kinds of decisions. You need to take your time to think through everything properly."

“But becoming the heavyweight champion is not what I’m dreaming of, it’s my goal, it’s what I’m planning to do," he said.

Unfortunately for Usyk, bookmakers still see Joshua as the favorite, likely due to his power and size advantage. According to Sky Bet, the Briton has -500 odds over Usyk who has +350. A draw meanwhile, has +2500 odds.

Despite the odds favoring Joshua, it still remains an intriguing contest due to Usyk's style and level of boxing. The 31-year-old is an Olympic gold medal-winning champion and one of the pound-for-pound best boxers in the world today, more than capable of outboxing the heavyweight kingpin.

For now, it won't be happening at least until the end of 2019 according to promoter Eddie Hearn, who promotes both fighters.

"I wouldn’t say he’s not ready for Joshua, but up at heavyweight, against AJ, it’s a different kettle of fish," Hearn said. "And one day I believe that will be a huge fight and it could be the back end of 2019. But our [Joshua] ultimate goal is to fight Deontay Wilder, that’s what we want to do. But I do believe Usyk will challenge for the world heavyweight championship, probably in 2019. Or very soon after."

"My relationship as his promoter is to steer him commercially and on events, his boxing events, and his profile. [His management] will tell me what they want to do. They will come to me and say they want to fight in – he wants a long break – April or May, and we would like to move up to heavyweight. And if they want to fight in Britain, they have to fight a Brit. And if they want to fight in America, then they can fight anybody. But ultimately I’ll wait for those guys. I think, although he’s non-committal, I’m very, very sure he will be moving up to heavyweight and targeting Anthony Joshua. Or Deontay Wilder."

Joshua will be fighting at Wembley in April next, with a rematch with Dillian Whyte expected to be his next fight.

However, many in the boxing world are hoping he instead faces the winner of December's World Boxing Council heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in a title unification fight.