Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has responded his fighter’s statement that he won’t be back in the ring until December.
The pair had previously spoke of a three-fight year, something many fans and pundits believe Joshua badly needs to get back to his best.
The two-time heavyweight world champion recently returned to winning ways by beating America’s Jermaine Franklin over the distance, and, whilst he showed some promise under new trainer, Derrick James, looked slightly tentative.
Analysts believe that the best course of action for ‘AJ’ is to take a summer fight to continue his development under James before heading into an elite contest with the likes of Tyson Fury towards the end of the year.
This seemed like the plan until the fighter took to Instagram to announce his next fight would be in December, and that it was ‘not ideal.’
Responding to the news, Hearn cryptically said ‘all in good time’, before later tweeting that ‘nothing was decided’ yet.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) April 9, 2023
Whilst the promoter is clearly working on something big behind the scenes, fans are speculating as to why a July bout seems off the table, at least according to Joshua. The frontrunner for an opponent was his old rival, Dillian Whyte.
Potential answers as to the cancellation include trainer commitments, injury, or the promise of a big-money fight for December that simply can’t afford any risk in between.
More is expected soon in this crucial stage of Anthony Joshua’s career, who needs statement performances to keep the fans interested following the loss of his unified titles to Oleksandr Usyk.
In a thriving heavyweight division with plenty of moving parts, an eight-month lay off seems like the last thing anyone needs.