Anthony Joshua next fight: Eddie Hearn names four potential opponents - Joe Joyce included

  • Tom Ward

Anthony Joshua will most likely have an interim fight next with his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk in doubt, promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed.

The Watford warrior, 32, had been hoping to win back his heavyweight belts from the Ukrainian having been on the receiving end of a twelve-round drubbing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in September last year.

However, in light of recent events, this understandably won’t be happening anytime soon.

But Hearn knows his prize-fighter needs to stay active as he can’t afford to waste any more time out of the ring.

He has since revealed plans are in motion for Joshua to return to the ring in June and has named four potential opponents for his next fight.

His shortlist of candidates include Joe Joyce, Luis Ortiz, Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder.

Hearn told DAZN: “I had that first conversation with Alex Krassyuk Thursday, I think or Friday.

“That’s a very uncomfortable conversation to have because right now, there’s a lot more on their mind than rematching Anthony Joshua. At the same time, we do need some direction because we have to plan the future of AJ.

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“So I just said, ‘Look, our fight is supposed to take place in June. Ultimately, if it does, you’re gonna have to start training camp in two or three weeks. If you need more time, it’s no problem’.  

“One thing we won’t accept, and we don’t want is the opportunity at that rematch to go away. AJ could have been paid a lot of money for that opportunity to go away, and he wouldn’t accept it. So that’s the absolute priority – the opportunity for AJ to try and win his world championship belts back.

“Now, if Usyk won’t be ready in June, which I don’t think he will be, then we would like to have an interim bout. AJ is fit. He’s ready. He is ready to fight.

“Now, AJ’s idea of an interim bout is very different to my idea of an interim bout. AJ’s list that he sends me is Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz, Otto Wallin, Joe Joyce. I’m thinking, ‘Look, I know you want to have a real fight, but we’re all waiting. This is a tougher fight to be waiting for Usyk. Not a fight that might be more dangerous than Usyk’.” 

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