Anthony Joshua has provided an update on when fans might see him next in the ring.
Joshua was last out against Jermaine Franklin at the start of the month, getting his first win in the ring for over two years.
After the fight, ‘AJ’ made it clear he wanted to be back in action within 12 weeks, with a second outing against long time rival, Dillian Whyte, expected for the summer. That all changed when the former champion put a post on social media declaring he won’t be returning until December.
Joshua justified the decision by telling Sky Sports he needs to spend more time under new coach, Derrick James.
“I’m a thinker, maybe an over thinker. But I think that having time with my new coach, as I’ve changed coaches three times in three years, so it’ll be good to work under the guidance of my new coach, so by the time I’m back in the ring I’ve cemented and implemented everything he wants. But the only way we’re going to put everything he’s teaching me to the test is through fighting.
So rather than putting pressure on myself, and I didn’t want to lie to the fans at the time, I just wanted to draw a line in the sand and say ‘I’m not fighting until this date’.”
On whether he could still be tempted to fight Whyte, or another opponent in between, Joshua didn’t rule it out but said it was currently “off the table”.
“If I decide or my coach decides to change his mind, I feel I’m able to change my mind, so I’m able to fight in July or August if I want.
Right now, it’s off the table, but we are subject to change providing my coach is happy with what he sees.”
Whyte has shown frustration at not getting the Joshua rematch, believing he should’ve been in line ahead of Franklin given he beat him in November of last year. This news is likely to only fuel that sense of injustice.
Joshua is expected to finally face Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia at the end of the year, with Eddie Hearn currently in the Middle East to discuss the deal.