Anthony Joshua and co..

Eddie Hearn names Anthony Joshua's next opponent if Wladimir Klitschko retires

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In an interview with Boxing News earlier this week, Eddie Hearn was asked about Anthony Joshua's next opponent following his recent TKO win over Wladimir Klitschko.

Rumours are rife regarding who Joshua will take on in his 20th professional fight, with a number of options on the table.

A rematch with Klitschko is what boxing fans want to see most, while Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker and Tyson Fury all want a piece of the action.

However, according to Hearn, the latter three will have to wait because Klitschko is the opponent he too wants Joshua to face later this year.

"It's one of the best fights I've seen, everyone wants to see it again," the boxing promoter said. "It's the biggest fight out there for Josh, other than the Fury fight, and I think he wins, so why not?

"That's the fight we'd like next."

There's one small problem where a Joshua-Klitschko rematch is concerned, though. Speaking a week before of the flight, Klitschko's brother, Vitali, explained how retirement is an option.

"He knows from this fight a lot depends on his future and his career," Vitali told Sky Sports. "It's the time to think about stopping and not fighting anymore, or continue his career."

Boxing at Wembley Stadium

So what would happen to Joshua if Klitschko retires? Who would be next in line? Well, Hearn has once again provided the answer.

In the event that Klitschko retires, or simply doesn't want a rematch - which is unlikely - Joshua's next opponent will be Kubrat Pulev for his IBF heavyweight belt.

Pulev is the mandatory challenger for the IBF title and even if Klitschko decides to go ahead with the rematch, Joshua could be forced into fighting Pulev anyway.

"If Klitschko comes back and says he doesn't want a rematch then we will fight Pulev next, unquestionably," Hearn said.


"Bernd (Boente, Klitschko's manager) said he (Klitschko) will have two weeks with his family and then he will make his mind up.

"I am looking at options now for the rematch while we wait on Klitschko because you have to have an idea on dates and possibilities."

Hearn added how he will ask for an exemption from the IBF if Klitschko ends up activating his rematch clause in order to delay the Pulev fight, though nothing is guaranteed.

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Wladamir Klitschko
David Haye
Tony Bellew

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