As fans await an announcement regarding Anthony Joshua’s April opponent, his promoter, Eddie Hearn, has made it clear how important this next fight really is.
Joshua was last in the ring in August 2022 – a second straight defeat to Oleksandr Usyk that put him down the heavyweight ladder facing a climb back to the top.
Out of the title picture for the first time in around eight years, the former unified champion is readying his return. Hearn told IFL TV the thought process behind it.
“This is the moment where we’ve got to get everything right for him to become a three-time heavyweight champion. It’s not even a delay for an opponent, but the reason that we’re here is he’s just selected his trainer, and we wanted to go through the opponents with the trainer.
The trainer will ultimately make the decisions as to who is the right fight for AJ to develop under him, and to gear himself up for Whyte, for Wilder, for Fury – for all them guys.”
With the new trainer ready to be announced, a full camp in America and an opponent to be carefully selected, Hearn sees this as make or break time for ‘AJ.’
“I’m excited; I’m really excited. This is the most excited I’ve been in an Anthony Joshua journey so far because I think it’s exciting. You go into that fight in April, and you know that defeat, it’s all over, really. It would be a third back-to-back defeat.”
“And yet, a great performance and a showreel knockout, gets everybody saying, ‘We’re back, baby.’ That’s what I can’t wait for because I love it when our back’s are against the wall. You have to understand that.”
The promoter has slated his fighter for April 1, July and December, the summer being a Dillian Whyte rematch and the winter – perhaps optimistically – a clash with Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.
First up is April, though, and the opponent is expected to be announced in the coming days.