There’s a great deal of excitement surrounding the heavyweight division in boxing right now.
In 2017, we’ve seen Anthony Joshua take the next step in his attempts to establish himself as one of the greatest of all time, the Brit recording a memorable victory over Wladimir Klitschko in April.
And it’s left the WBA (Super), IBO and IBF champion as the man who everyone wants a piece of.
This week alone, Joshua has received challenges from Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Joseph Parker.
AJ responded to all three heavyweights, telling Wilder and Parker to send him an offer and Fury to “get fit you fat f**k”.
It seems, then, that Joshua is more than willing to meet anyone who wants to take him down.
Joshua will fight Wilder in 2018
Wilder appears most likely to get the first crack at the 28-year-old after Eddie Hearn confirmed that the bout will take place in 2018.
The WBC champion retained his belt with a devastating first-round knockout win over Bermane Stiverne last weekend, extending his record to 39-0, and possesses enough power to cause Joshua serious problems.
Frank Bruno's thoughts on AJ v Wilder
That is a view shared by former World Heavyweight champion Frank Bruno, who considers Wilder “a very dangerous opponent”.
But in Bruno’s opinion, Joshua will prevail against the Bronze Bomber - provided he continues to look after his body and train hard.
“Anthony is a very serious guy who trains hard and lives his life the right way,” Bruno said, per the Mirror. “If he continues to do that he can go and beat Deontay.
"But Wilder is a very dangerous opponent. He is unpredictable and has incredible power so Anthony will definitely have to be at his very best to come out on top.”
Joshua knows all about the threat Wilder poses. He was there to watch the American destroy Audley Harrison with a first-round knockout in Sheffield four years ago.
But Joshua has developed into a seriously talented fighter since then.
The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and BoxRec both consider the 2012 Olympic champion to be the best active heavyweight in the world and there are many who feel as though Joshua is yet to produce his best stuff.
Next year promises to be huge in the British fighter’s career.
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