Matchroom Promoter, Eddie Hearn, has confirmed that he has booked a venue for Anthony Joshua’s second outing of the year as he mounts a challenge to become a three-time world champion.
Joshua returned to action under the guidance of new trainer, Derrick James, back in April, outpointing Jermaine Franklin, an opponent that many believed he should have knocked out.
Now, ‘AJ’ has had more time to learn from the 2020 Sports Illustrated Trainer of the Year and will be seeking to prove his doubters wrong with a statement win this summer before tackling the mammoth task of Deontay Wilder in December.
Speaking to Boxing Social, Hearn confirmed that he has booked the O2 Arena in London for August 12 for a rematch between Joshua and long-time rival, Dillian Whyte, but admitted that the deal is far from complete.
“We have the O2 [Arena] held for that date, yes.”
“We want to make AJ vs DIllian Whyte, that is the fight that we want to make for August 12th. We still have to close that deal, and we are not there yet, at all. So, we have other opponents in mind, but we would like to fight Dillian Whyte.
We are also looking at stadiums for that fight, but we do have the O2 booked for August 12th.”
Having a rivalry dating back to their amateur days, Joshua should have no issues finding motivation for the bout, which could bring out the more aggressive, old-school ‘AJ’ that fans have been beckoning.
The last time that the pair met was way back in 2015, where the former unified champion ended the contest with a highlight-reel uppercut in the seventh round to win the vacant British title.
As for Whyte, this could be seen as ‘last-chance’ saloon following a loss to Tyson Fury and a close win over Franklin himself in his last outing back in November.
Should he be unavailable or decide against the fight, Joshua is expected to keep the date and face somebody else.