Former WBC cruiserweight world champion, Tony Bellew, has revealed his pick for who Anthony Joshua should face ahead of a planned December outing, as he prepares for a potential clash with Deontay Wilder later in 2024.
Joshua has been linked to a long-awaited showdown with Wilder throughout the second half of 2023. However, both ‘AJ’ and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, have now admitted that they are looking at alternate opponents for a December fight, as talks with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ proved to be more difficult than first anticipated.
In an interview with Ade Oladipo, Bellew called for Anthony Joshua to up the ante with his next opponent, to improve on his two wins over Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius this year.
“I’d take the trajectory a little bit up. I would look more towards a gatekeeper. Michael Hunter? He beat Martin Bakole.
That’s a difficult one though, he is a problem. I know you’re going to say that he is a cruiserweight, but he is a problem. He’s been a sparring partner of AJ’s quite recently, as well.”
‘The Bounty’ Hunter has completed only two rounds since December 2021, winning an early knockout against Mexican journeyman, Miguel Cubos (14-24-1) in September. However, as Bellew states, the former cruiserweight title contender’s win over Martin Bakole stands out as an impressive one, with the Congolese heavyweight now proving himself as a top ten fighter in the division.
Wilder has made it clear he wants to face Joshua, taking to social media to say it would be ‘a disaster’ if the two heavy hitters never met in the ring – fans are hoping this one can finally get over the line next year.