At 33 years of age, Anthony Joshua is keen to become a three-time world heavyweight champion before hanging up the gloves.
The Watford man has recently celebrated a decade in the pro game, a career that saw him win his first title in his sixteenth fight before going on to unify three of the four major belts.
A loss to Oleksandr Usyk and a repeat in the rematch left Joshua out of the title picture for the first time since in a long time, and he has had two rebuilding fights under new coach Derrick James since.
It’s now the general consensus that he needs to test himself against the top dogs once more should he want to achieve that goal.
Former cruiserweight world champion turned pundit, Johnny Nelson, said on The First Bell Boxing Show that he believes Joshua has a year to do it.
“This as a subject is a bit sensitive. Number one – you’ve got to look at AJ, where he is in regards to being a fighter, a fan’s favourite and the longevity of his career. In my head, I think within a year’s time he’s done. I think he walks away. Just my opinion.”
Should Joshua land the fight he’s looking for – one against American knockout artist Deontay Wilder – Nelson believes his career could be over even sooner, that is if he loses.
“I’m telling you now, if he gets turned over by Wilder, I don’t care what anybody says, he will walk away. Especially with the fashion of the loss. I don’t think it should be [Wilder next.] He need to be sure of what he’s doing when he gets in there.”
Joshua’s next fight date is up in the air, with promoter Eddie Hearn still pushing for the Wilder bout but now considering Filip Hrgovic, given the Croatian is in a good place to potentially challenge for a vacant world title soon.
Many fans would like to see him in with Wilder and Tyson Fury before it’s all said and done, but whether or not one, or both, can be made, remains to be seen.