The two fighters Anthony Joshua could face after Kubrat Pulev fight


It seems everybody wants a piece of Anthony Joshua after his pulsating victory over Wladimir Klitschko in April.

The Olympic gold medalist has experienced a practically unrivalled rise in the heavyweight division since turning professional in 2013. 'AJ' boasts an unblemished record of 19-0, all by knockout.

Joshua first secured a heavyweight belt in April 2016, knocking out Charles Martin inside third rounds, before successfully defending his IBF title against Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina.

The crowning jewel undoubtedly proved the Klitschko bout, however, in front of a packed Wembley crowd. Despite suffering his first career knockdown, Joshua procured the vacant IBO and WBA Super heavyweight titles with an 11th round technical knockout.

A star-studded re-match in Las Vegas looked the next step but any such hopes were pacified by Klitschko's official retirement in August.

Consequently, Joshua will step into the ring with mandatory challenger - Kubrat Pulev - in October at Cardiff's Principality Stadium. 

It's not Sin City, nor the bout fans wanted but Pulev is a fearsome prospect for 'AJ'. Defeat to Klitschko in 2014 remains the only defeat in the Bulgarian's career and Johnny Nelson has even flagged the match-up as a 'risk' for Joshua.

If Pulev is simply number 20 in Joshua's wins column, though, what's the next step?


Well, it seems unifying the heavyweight division would be the most desirable option and thus two different fighters are dragged into the equation.

Deontay Wilder is perhaps the most frequented name to face Joshua after the Pulev fight with the American clashing with Luis Ortiz in November. Wilder holds the WBC title and boasts an immaculate 38-0 record, including no less than 37 knockouts.

Per The Sun, he explained: "When I beat him [Ortiz], I want Joshua. Everybody knows that I want to unify the division.

“Whoever I’ve got to beat to finally get that fight made, then let’s do it.

“If Ortiz is the gatekeeper for unifying, then I can’t wait. But my ultimate goal is to unify.”

That's all well and good, but there is also the challenge of Joseph Parker who is fresh from his controversial points victory over Hughie Fury. The majority decision extended the Kiwi's record to 24-0 and saw him retain his WBO title.

And his promoter David Higgins has revealed that Parker - like Wilder - has a unification bout in his crosshair for 2017.

Boxing at Manchester Arena

Higgins revealed: "They'll all want to fight Joe even more now. They will underestimate him, because Hughie is the sort of guy that you'll take the distance," according to Sky Sports.

"Joshua is the sort of fight, a unification fight, that we could look at next year, provided both guys keep winning."

In other words, if Joshua's winning streak continues, then Pulev really is just the beginning.

Who would you like to see Anthony Joshua face after the Pulev fight? Have your say in the comments section below.

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