After losing three of his last five fights, Anthony Joshua is looking to get back into the winning column and reignite his career.
In an interview with DAZN, host Ade Oladipo listed three of the rumoured heavyweights that Joshua could be facing in his next fight. ‘AJ’ said yes to the idea of fighting any of them.
The first name suggested was Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin, who went the distance with Tyson Fury in 2019. A fight with Wallin would allow fans to draw a comparison between Joshua and Fury, and a stoppage victory would mean that the Watford man could boast something that ‘The Gypsy King’ can’t. Furthermore, Wallin is a southpaw, and could possibly be preparation for a potential trilogy fight with Oleksandr Usyk, with Joshua having lost to the Ukrainian in both previous attempts.
Next up was long-term rival and fellow Brit, Dillian Whyte, who Joshua brutally knocked out in 2015. Whyte had previously beaten ‘AJ’ in the amateurs and ever since the two have had a dislike for one another.
With both Joshua and Whyte coming off losses, it seems that a can’t-lose rematch between the two would do good numbers, be a serious test for Joshua, and make for an entertaining build-up. Out of all the names being mentioned, Whyte would likely be the fight that the fans would want to see, but it could truly spell the end for whichever fighter is defeated, making it a high-risk fight for both.
Last but not least is IBF mandatory challenger, Filip Hrgovic, who recently overcame Zhilei Zhang. The Croatian heavyweight was rather unconvincing in his victory over ‘Big Bang’ Zhang, but represents an opportunity to become the mandatory challenger for Usyk’s IBF title and is yet to be beaten. A victory over Hrgovic would look good on paper for ‘AJ’, put him in a position for a world title shot and possibly be the easiest fight of the three, if going off of recent performances.
In the interview, Joshua explained that the selection of his next fight will not be a popularity contest and that anyone he fights with is in there told help ‘AJ’ take his ability to the next level, as much as it is about improving his position to challenge for world titles.
“I like fighting good opponents and as much as it is about becoming a champion, I always felt like it’s important for me to fight the best in my era, because there is this whole stigma about cherry-picking. In boxing, if you want to get to the top, you have to take risks, calculated risks, but you definitely have to take risks and I just like taking risks. It’s not how popular you are that makes you a good fighter, it’s how good of a fighter you are, that will make you popular.