Anthony Joshua became the hottest prospect in heavyweight boxing by defeating and retiring Wladimir Klitschko earlier this year.
Joshua retained his IBF heavyweight title, as well as winning vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles against the 41-year-old.
Now, the next challenge for AJ is to defend his titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday, October 28.
But this is only the beginning for the British knockout artist, as his promoter Eddie Hearn has a plan for unifying the division next year.
Hearn wants the unbeaten Joshua to make his debut abroad next year. Already a huge name in the UK, the 27-year-old can now afford to spread his wings and show his talent to the rest of the world.
Logic leads to fighting abroad, which would be the next step in his progression. The ultimate goal will be a unification bout, probably later next year with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
“I think Anthony’s next fight after Pulev will be abroad. Maybe Las Vegas, maybe the Middle East," Hearn explained, as per The Mirror.
"Then his next fight after that will be a unification — and I want the Wilder fight."
“It’s all there for Anthony, and he just has to keep winning. But first, let’s deal with the Pulev fight.”
Kubrat Pulev, 36, holds a record of 25 wins (13 by KO) and only one loss - a brutal KO defeat by Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014.
However, the Bulgarian is eager to make things right and to stop Joshua`s winning streak, using his experience and skill set.
If everything goes to plan for AJ, however, the next obstacle would be the WBA mandatory challenger - Luis "King Kong" Ortiz.
However, Ortiz tested positive during his camp for a proposed November 4 battle with Deontay Wilder in New York.
Eddie Hearn is waiting for the WBA to clarify the confusing situation, whether Ortiz still remains their mandatory given the circumstances.
“I don’t know what’s happening,” Hearn admitted.
“The WBC say they won’t sanction the Wilder fight, [but] Ortiz’s lot say they are about to be cleared."
“The WBA have to rule on their position.”
The undefeated American - Wilder, and his WBC belt, seem to be the long-term goal for Joshua. The Bronze Bomber has been gunning for this fight for a while and boxing fans will be delighted to see it happen next year.
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