Former two-time heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua was at the Dillian Whyte-Jermain Franklin fight last night, and afterwards he took the time to speak with IFL TV. Joshua, pressed on who his next fight will be against, insisted that “no joke,” he doesn’t know. There is, though, AJ said, “no shortage of opponents to fight me.”
“It won’t be hard to find an opponent to fight me,” Joshua said, pointing to the fact that “everyone” wants to fight him; this due to the money that would be on the table and due to the high-profile his next fight will carry. But Joshua did say that he feels he WILL fight either Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder next year.
“In my heart, no,” Joshua said when asked if the Fury fight is history now. “But if you listen to what he says, it’s up and down. But I’m sure he’ll fight me. I don’t think his dad will let him not fight me. His dad’s a proper guy, I like his dad. So yeah, him or Wilder [in 2023]. Both of them will be a good night and a hard night’s work. But yeah, 2023 is him or Deontay Wilder – or potentially both.”
Needless to say, it would come as one huge surprise if Joshua fought either Wilder or Fury next year, let alone both. How long have we been waiting for Joshua Vs. Wilder? How much messing about have we seen go on as far as a Fury Vs. Joshua fight taking place? Does Fury actually want the fight or not, he seems to change his mind from interview to interview. But we fans, we would take either fight, either mega-fight, and we wouldn’t mind paying for it.
Joshua is, in the opinion of his critics, in need of a big career rebuild, his win column empty since December 2020. Obviously, a win over Wilder or Fury would arm AJ with sufficient ammo to be able to tell his critics to go shove it. But will even one of these massive fights get made? Can these fights get made? All three guys, Joshua, Fury and Wilder, are in their mid-30s now, and it may not be all that long before all three fighters are walking through the retirement door (for real in the case of Fury).
There’s still time for these two enormous fights to get made, but that clock is sure ticking. At the very least, though, it was somewhat uplifting to hear AJ talk about the possibility of him fighting Fury and/or Wilder next year. Let’s hope it will turn out to be more than just talk this time.