Eddie Hearn Confirms Anthony Joshua Will Fight in December
FightersTalkTV.com – For the Matchroom boss, Eddie Hearn, the dream of Joshua becoming a three-time heavyweight champion is still very much alive. As is the possibility of fighting Wilder. As is the possibility of fighting Fury.
Hearn is confident of delivering a huge stadium fight between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte next summer as he plots ‘AJ’s return against a top 15-ranked opponent in December. With the path now clear for Usyk and Tyson Fury to fight for the undisputed championship, Joshua will embark on a new stage of his career, one that will likely get underway in the end of the year.
“We’re all gunning for a December return,” Hearn told Sportsmail on Wednesday. “It’s not confirmed, but that’s where everyone’s minds are at.
Hearn expects Joshua’s next fight to be in London after his most recent outing in Saudi Arabia
Eddie Hearn has laid out his plans for Anthony Joshua after his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.
“We’re not booking a venue, but the conversations – as recently as yesterday – was December for his return. I don’t want to start mentioning names, but it’s a top 15 fight.”
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Hearn ruled out a possible long-awaited showdown against Deontay Wilder, though stressing a bout could take place down the line and insisting it would be bigger than an undisputed fight between Usyk and Fury. He also revealed it won’t be former foes Whyte or Andy Ruiz Jr.
“It will be someone credible, who AJ can come back, express himself against and build on what he’s learning in camp,” Hearn added. “He can then build himself back up to fighting for a heavyweight title again.” The likes of Zhilei Zhang and Otto Wallin would certainly fall into that category.
“I’d like to bring him home,” he said. “Look, there’s the Zhang fight. A lot of people think he beat Filip Hrgovic and that’s a big fight in China, but I just feel that the next fight should be in the UK.”
“It will be at the O2 or Manchester Arena, we won’t do a stadium fight,” he added.
With mandatories no longer an issue, and an undisputed showdown no longer an option – for now, anyway – Hearn is planning to get AJ traveling once more after making his return.
“Now Joshua is in control of his own future,” he said. “We can fight who we want, when we want, where we want, and let’s go on an AJ world tour. I want London, I want Vegas, I want Beijing, I want the Middle East, and I want Australia. We can do all of that in a year.”
When asked if Joshua vs Whyte will be targeted for a stadium fight, Hearn said, “For sure, it is a fight we all want.
“The two biggest fights out there away from the world title fight are the Dillian Whyte fight which must happen. It is a huge stadium fight next summer.
“The other is the Deontay Wilder fight which is arguably the biggest fight in boxing – even bigger than Fury vs Usyk, in all honesty. Two big fights and whoever has the belts at the of the summer, we will also be targeting.”
He added: “The Dillian Whyte fight is definitely easier to make than the Wilder fight. But they are, as always, going to be wanted to be paid as much money as possible.
“But I think it is quite easy for me to make that fight. AJ wants that fight, Dillian wants that fight and that’s a fight we will definitely see next summer.
Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte
Joshua and Whyte both want the fight, says the Matchroom chief.
“I don’t want to throw out names but anyone in the top 15,” Hearn said. “It is not going to be Wilder or Whyte next, but the others around the top 15 with the governing bodies.
“I don’t see him having a problem fighting them. He is not going to want to go back and fight an embarrassing fight, he doesn’t want that and we don’t want that. We want to have him in fights where he can continue to learn and progress.”
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Hearn continued, “I have chatted to him a few times and he’s alright. I think the combustion after the fight that we saw, that was a good thing for him. There has been that pressure and emotion building up over the last few years and the weight he has been carrying on his shoulders. It was good for him to get that out.”
After Joshua fell to a second-straight defeat to Oleksandr Usyk earlier in August, having lost his WBA, WBO, and IBF belts to the Ukrainian mastermind in September last year, his record is now at 24-3. It seems the loss made his journey go blurry, which is driven by his promoter, who is trying his best to find a good fight for him.
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