Hearn Outlines Three Possible Names For Joshua’s Next Fight

January 2, 2024
2 months
Hearn Outlines Three Possible Names For Joshua's Next Fight

Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Anthony Joshua is in talks with three boxers for a massive fight in March.

This follows Joshua’s dominant win over Otto Wallin as the Swede’s team threw in the towel after the fifth round. Before the fight, the talk had already turned to a fight with Deontay Wilder. Reports confirmed a two-fight deal was agreed, provided they won their fights. Joshua held up his side of the bargain, but Wilder’s loss to Joseph Parker meant the fight was dead.

Frank Warren also revealed a huge fight is in the works for Saudi. That plays in line with Joshua’s next move. He will likely face Filip Hrgovic since the Croatian is the current IBF interim champion. He is in line to face the winner of Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk.

But they have a rematch clause, meaning the winner must defend against Hrgovic or be stripped. The rematch would result in the winner being stripped, putting Joshua and Hrgovic in a position to fight for the full IBF title. Besides that, Zhilei Zhang and Francis Ngannou have been mentioned as alternatives.

Hearn On Joshua

“Right now, we have three fights that we’re in discussions for, they’re all big. And that doesn’t involve Deontay Wilder. Before March, our aim, and we’ve discussed this, is to fight the winner of Fury versus Usyk. That is all we want to do. Obviously, there’s a Hrgovic fight out there for the world heavyweight title; there’s a Francis Ngannou fight out there, which would be absolutely colossal. There are other heavyweights as well; the Zhang fight possibly as well with Queensbury,” Hearn said 

The most likely fight is the Hrgovic bout. That offers Joshua the chance to become a three-time heavyweight champion of the world, which he has expressed in doing. Hrgovic is also with Matchroom Boxing, making it easier. The fight between Zhang and Ngannou is a high-risk, low reward.

Beating Zhang makes Joshua the WBO interim champion, but since the mandatory will be called after the IBF one, it makes no sense to take that fight. Zhang is also a southpaw who stopped Joe Joyce in two back-to-back fights. Before the defeats, Joyce was known for having one of the best chins in boxing.

As for a fight with Ngannou, he is a dangerous opponent. His bout against Tyson Fury showed that as he troubled the WBC champion on his boxing debut. He dropped Fury in the third round, went the distance, and arguably could have gotten the decision on another day. Either way, Frank Warren has teased a big fight in Saudi.

Warren On Saudi

“We are working on [other fights] and there will be a press conference early in January to announce the undercard for Tyson’s show and also what is happening in March. It’ll be very interesting, that’s for sure. It’ll be a big fight. This whole thing has been a game changer.

“That was the phrase I used from the beginning with Tyson vs Ngannou. I just felt this was gonna lead to something special, and the last show was special.”The next one on the [February] 17th is very, very special with all the titles on the line. Four belts on the line, that’s going to be magnificent. The other guys have got to keep winning, to keep in the running to fight the winner down the road,” Warren said 

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