Anthony Joshua told fans he wanted to fight three times this year, but the final bout may fall just outside of that timeframe.
Following two losses to now-unified champion, Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua got on the comeback trail under new trainer Derrick James with wins over Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius.
The goal was a fight with fellow former champ, Deontay Wilder, but a deal from Saudi Arabia-based Skill Challenge Promotions is now off the table.
There were questions as to whether or not ‘AJ’ would sit out and wait for the Wilder fight to come around with a different host nation, but promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed to Boxing Social that the plan is activity over everything.
He says his heavyweight charge will be out again in December or January before fighting Wilder or looking to snatch up the IBF heavyweight title should it become vacant after the undisputed bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
“He wants to fight in December really. Maybe [there’s time], but it could spill over into January. I think realistically December/January will be the date for his next fight, and then he’ll fight Deontay Wilder or he’ll fight for the IBF world heavyweight title.
He wants to become heavyweight champion, he wants to fight Deontay Wilder, he wants to fight Tyson Fury, but he also wants to stay active, and that’s what he’s asked me to do to try and get him in the ring as soon as possible.”
Who Joshua faces in his next bout is up in the air, but fans will demand a solid challenge.
There’s potential to match-up with Otto Wallin, who is one ahead of him in the IBF rankings and therefore has a better claim to face mandatory challenger, Filip Hrgovic, should the belt be dropped by the winner of Fury-Usyk.