Despite initial reports and positive comments from the fighter himself, it’s being reported that undefeated Australian heavyweight, Demsey McKean, will not be next to face Anthony Joshua.
McKean has been mentioned by ‘AJ’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, in the past, and mutterings in the boxing world that he would soon be announced as the comeback opponent increased this week.
The fighter himself spoke to media outlets following the news, confirming that there had been talks but going no further than that.
Reactions to McKean as an opponent for the former unified champion were mixed, with some branding it as a good move whilst others complained that his record suggested he wouldn’t be much of a test.
Despite having turned pro back in 2014, he’s never been scheduled for a twelve round fight, with any wins that haven’t been by stoppage coming over a ten-round distance.
As far as rankings go, McKean is number 10 with the WBO and 11 with the IBF, but doesn’t feature in the WBC or WBA top 15.
The Daily Star’s Chris McKenna reported that, contrary to the rumours, Joshua would not be facing McKean upon his return to the ring, scheduled for April 1. He also confirmed that Derrick James is the most likely to be announced as the Brit’s new trainer.
Derrick James now the front runner to be Anthony Joshua's new trainer, although no confirmation yet from his team. He's heading to the US to train and he spent time with James in December. Joshua to return on April 1 but it won't be against Demsey McKean.
— Chris McKenna (@cmckennasport) January 11, 2023
The speculation around Joshua’s return has been brought on by two losses in a row at the hands of now-champion, Oleksandr Usyk. Rob McCracken was in his corner for the first, Robert Garcia the second, and now it looks like James, who trains Errol Spence Jr, will be taking the reins for his future.
Other potential opponents are former Tyson Fury foe, Otto Wallin, and China’s Zhilei Zhang.
With the April date in mind, an announcement is expected soon as to both the trainer position and opponent.