As Anthony Joshua’s team scramble for a late-replacement opponent, rival promoter Frank Warren believes they will ‘go for the easiest option.’
‘AJ’s August 12 bout was plunged into doubt this weekend following news that Dillian Whyte had returned ‘adverse analytical findings’ in a VADA doping test.
He was immediately pulled from the main event, and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom are now set on keeping the show alive by filling that gap in the opposite corner.
Naturally, fans are looking at the heavyweight fights that were set for the undercard, with Filip Hrgovic, Demsey McKean, Derek Chisora and Gerald Washington all potential opponents.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, Warren said that they would go for the easiest option, but warned that a Chisora bout wouldn’t be up to scratch.
“They’ll go for the easiest one they can because they don’t want to jeopardise the payday they’re gonna get in Saudi Arabia … This is what this has all been about and why the heavyweight division has been held up for nearly a year now.”
“I don’t think him and Derek Chisora is going to set the world on fire. I got enough criticism for Chisora fighting Tyson when he was ranked and he was soundly beaten by Tyson. There’s a few other guys there, but he’ll go for the easiest option if he goes ahead and fights.”
Fury soundly beat Chisora in December of 2022. The facts that the heavyweight veteran is also close friends with Joshua and is represented by his management company may convince the promotion to avoid him as the opponent.
Warren would like see Joshua tested following a fight with Jermaine Franklin in April.
“[Joshua] had a warm up fight [with Jermaine Franklin] after his losses [against Oleksandr Usyk] and now he should be stepping up a bit. So, you would expect him to be in the ring with somebody who at least has a pulse.”
An announcement is expected today as to who Joshua will face come Saturday night.