Boxing

Anthony Joshua made the first successful defence of his IBF heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale.

Joseph Parker poised to be next opponent for Anthony Joshua

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Anthony Joshua expects to make the next defence of his IBF heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Joseph Parker in November.

Before then he plans to take a rest, with one of his next assignments being to commentate on Team GB's boxing squad at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

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Saturday's seventh-round stoppage of American Dominic Breazeale represented both the finest performance of Joshua's career and the first defence of his title.

He demonstrated increasing maturity and patience against a resilient opponent, who took the heaviest of punches until referee Howard Foster waved the fight over after a second knockdown in quick succession.

David Haye, a ringside commentator, again spoke of his desire for what would be a big-money fight against Joshua. Promoter Eddie Hearn, however, revealed Parker is their favoured option once Joshua has recovered from the intense run that began with February's announcement of his fight with Charles Martin.

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Asked when Joshua will next return to the ring, Hearn responded: "November. We like the Joseph Parker fight, that's the mandatory, we'll have to deal with that at some point, whether that's November, December or whether that's March, April that's a good fight.

"The Parker fight's going to happen in either November, December, or March, April. (Wladimir) Klitschko is a fight we'd love as well, but I'm always reluctant to make a fight of that magnitude in November

"He needs a long rest. He needs to go and be a young boy, go and sit on the beach with his mates and mess around. It's been absolutely relentless.

"He had a virus for a couple of weeks and there were times we were considering taking the (Breazeale) fight or not. After the Martin fight (when Joshua won the title) because of the commercial deals, it's been non-stop: broadcasters, sponsors.... the one worry for this fight was burnout."

Hearn also explained November is their last window of opportunity for a voluntary defence, after which they would require permission from the IBF if they are to delay fighting Parker.

There is little question they plan to build towards a bigger fight next year, strengthening Parker's case for November because of the freedom they would then have.

It had been hoped his plans would include WBA and WBO champion Tyson Fury, but the ankle injury he recently suffered forced his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko to be postponed, most likely until October.

"We can't comment on that because we don't know the ins and outs," said Hearn.

"But our conversations with (Fury's trainer and uncle) Peter Fury were to look at that fight for November, December, or spring, summer next year.

"The (ankle) injury has kind of made the decision for us. We'll see what happens with the inquiry, but we're doing our thing, we want to get all the belts."

Joshua, who on Saturday fought into the seventh round for only the second time in his career, said of Fury: "(The ankle injury) is a shame because he's worked hard to get where he is, and I hope he can overcome it and get back to winning ways because it's a fight that everyone wanted and I was serious about.

"I'm in a good position. (WBC champion Deontay) Wilder, Fury, Haye, (I'd fight) any one of them, and they all want me.

"I've got a good relationship with the (Team GB) boys. I've known them for years. I'll be doing some commentary work on them at the Olympics.

"The main thing is I really want to catch up with my family and spend some time at home."

On the undercard at London's 02 Arena, Chris Eubank Jr stopped Tom Doran in four rounds while George Groves outpointed Martin Murray over 12. It is hoped Eubank Jr will next fight the devastating WBA and IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Hearn added that if he is, negotiations would be concluded in the coming days.

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