Anthony Joshua and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, have different ideas about who the two-time world champion should face next at this stage in his career.
Following two consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk, losing his unified heavyweight titles in the process, Joshua returned to the ring this past weekend to beat America’s Jermaine Franklin over the 12 round distance.
Whilst he showed a good jab and gas tank under his new trainer, Derrick James, the general consensus was that he wasn’t overly keen to capitalise on his attacks.
Still, a win is all he needed, and asked who he’d like to step in the ring with, he said Tyson Fury.
“100% Tyson Fury. I think that’s the pot of gold. That’s the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the world, bro. That’s what it’s about.”
Hearn, on the other hand, wants to see another lower-stakes contest under James before making the Fury fight. He told the MMA Hour as much.
“Dillian Whyte, Otto Wallin. Joe Joyce is another big fight. It’s a tough fight. Who knows? I just feel that, if we’re gonna go into. a Fury or a Wilder fight, which is inevitable, I just want him to go in with the best chance that he can have.
And I just feel that right now, he’s not at the optimum level he could be to go into that fight. He would still go into them and I still give him a chance in those fights. I believe he can win those fights.
But I would just like to see him firing going into those fights, and what I saw on Saturday wasn’t AJ firing on all cylinders.”
Regardless of the man in the opposite corner, Joshua is keen to build on any momentum gained, and intends to aim for a return to the ring in as little as 12 weeks.