Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn laid out his three-fight plan on Monday on rebuilding the struggling former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua to retool him with the help of his new yet-to-be-named coach for 2023.
The first of three fights this year for Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) will be in April against a top 15 heavyweight. Joshua will then fight in the summer in a stadium fight against his old nemesis Dillian Whyte, and then his third fight will be either WBC champion Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.
Trying to determine who the third opponent will be for Joshua is challenging to know. Fury has a tough fight against IBF, WBA & WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk for the first quarter of the year, and he could lose.
With Fury’s fighting style having become one-dimensional under trainer Sugarhill Steward, he’s ripe for the picking by the more versatile, athletic, and mobile Usyk.
According to Hearn, Deontay will be fighting Andy Ruiz Jr next, and that’s a fight that he can lose. It’ll be interesting to see what Hearn does if both Wilder and Fury lose their next fights.
A trilogy match between Joshua and Usyk would be a bad idea for AJ, given how outclassed he was in the first two contests, but he might have no other choice if Wilder & Fury both lose their next fights.
“The plan now is to rebuild him to become a three-time heavyweight world champion. There has to be a plan, a smart plan,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show about his plans for Anthony Joshua to be rebuilt with his assistance along with a new trainer.
It might be too much of a rush job for Joshua’s new trainer to refurbish him in just two fights to prepare him to challenge for a world title in the Autumn.
Ideally, it would be better for Joshua to have three to five fights with a new trainer before fighting for a world title because he’s got a lot of areas in his game that need fixing.
“A smart plan is he wants to return against a top 15 guy in a credible fight and return in the summer against probably Dillian Whyte and then move forward against Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury in a mega-fight in the ultimate 2023.
“To me, the key here is to see him box three times this year,” said Hearn about Joshua.