Eddie Hearn has confirmed the five potential fights for Anthony Joshua when he returns to the ring next year. Hearn previously coined Dillian Whyte as the ‘frontrunner’. However, he is not the only opponent in consideration.
Deontay Wilder, Filip Hrgovic, Zhang Zhilei, Otto Wallin, and the winner of Whyte vs Jermaine Franklin on November 26 are all possible options according to the Matchroom Boxing chief.
After back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk, AJ is looking to return with a statement victory against a ‘credible top 15 opponent’. Following the breakdown in negotiations with Tyson Fury to stage their long-awaited grudge match on December 3, it was announced that Joshua would take a longer break before stepping back between the ropes.
The Watford powerhouse is expected to fight again at some point between February and April. Speaking to Seconds Out, Hearn revealed that he will sit down with Joshua this week and confirm an official date.
“So, if you’re going to go in against Filip Hrgovic, why not go in against Deontay Wilder? Or Dillian Whyte? Everybody can beat everybody on their night. There’s been no decision, but it will be a good fight and the plan is that AJ arrives in Abu Dubai this week and we will look to sit down with him and confirm a date.”
Chris Arreola and Gerald Washington are two other names that have been mentioned in the same discussion but haven’t been confirmed by Hearn. According to both men, phone calls have been made to enquire about their services. However, neither man fits the bill of a ‘credible top 15 opponent’ with their best days long behind them.