Anthony Joshua, who was a pumped up analyst at the Rio Olympics, giving his expert opinion on many of the boxing bouts, is now pumped up for his own upcoming fight. Eddie Hearn has announced how the IBF heavyweight champ will fight on November 26th; the venue and opponent will be announced in the coming days. But for the first time in quite a while, Joshua will not be fighting at The O2 in London.
The upcoming venue is interesting, maybe it will be Manchester, maybe Liverpool (“We are changing city,” Joshua said), but the main thing that interests fans is who the challenger will be.
Hearn has a short-list consisting of Kubrat Pulev, Joseph Parker (Joshua’s mandatory) and Bermane Stiverne (who looks unlikely now as he has that WBC interim fight lined up with Alexander Povetkin; with the winner of that fight set to face Deontay Wilder in a huge fight some time next year). So who might A.J fight in his second title defence?
There is no shortage of names calling out Joshua; with Jarrell Miller, David Price and others calling for the fight. Whoever he fights next though, Joshua made it clear after watching his countryman Joe Joyce lose a close, debatable decision to Frenchman Tony Yoka in the super-heavyweight final last night, how he wants a KO. “It’s Knockouts from here on,” Joshua said. “It’s not going to be any points decision.”
Joshua, 17-0(17) has yet to be extended beyond the 7th-round and his blend of power and speed looks to be too much for Pulev and Price. In the interests of a good fight, Joshua will hopefully opt to defend against either Miller or Parker. Both contenders are young, unbeaten and hungry. Joshua needs, and wants, a good test. Either of these two exciting fighters would likely provide that test in November.