Anthony Joshua fought through a virus in the lead-up to last night’s 7th-round stoppage win over a game Dominic Breazeale, his promoter Eddie Hearn tells Sky Sports. Hearn says there was even a possibility the fight could have been called off. But Joshua won as we know, he retained his IBF heavyweight belt for the first time and he now looks ahead to his next fight. Hearn said Joshua will “take a long rest” first, but that he could return in November; with mandatory challenger Joseph Parker being a strong possibility.
Joshua will have to defend against Parker at some point, as he is the IBF number-one contender, and Hearn said he likes the idea of taking this fight next and getting it out of the way.
“We like the Joseph Parker fight,” Hearn said. “That’s the mandatory, and we’ll have to deal with that at some point. Whether that’s November, December or whether that’s March, April, that’s a good fight. He had a virus for a couple of weeks and there were times when we were considering taking the [Breazeale] fight. After the Charles Martin fight it’s been non-stop. The one worry for this fight was burnout. He needs a long rest. The Parker fight’s going to happen in November, December or March, April. Wladimir Klitschko is a fight we’d love as well, but I’m always reluctant to make a fight of that magnitude in November.”
Parker, who defeated the tough Carlos Takam to earn his mandatory position, looks the most likely opponent. Klitschko must first defeat Tyson Fury – the return now targeted for October, but with the shocking news story regarding Fury testing positive for nandrolone, this may be up in the air – before he can look at facing Joshua or anyone else. Joshua also wants to fight Fury, and this one would be massive if it took place. But Joshua against Parker has to happen so why not do it next?
Parker is hungry for the chance and he will have a full country supporting him when the fight comes. If Joshua can get this fight done by the end of the year he will have boxed three times in 2016, in today’s boxing world that’s quite an active year for a heavyweight.