Eddie Hearn has said WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight ruler Anthony Joshua may fight in the UK next, or he may fight in America. Speaking with IFL TV, the promoter said there are a number of possible scenarios which may unfold for AJ. If the WBO mandatory defence against Oleksandr Usyk is not made, Joshua could fight Andy Ruiz in a third fight, or Dillian Whyte in a rematch, or Luis Ortiz.
In truth, all four fights carry with them a degree of interest and excitement. A Joshua-Ruiz trilogy fight would be interesting, mostly because we could expect to see Ruiz enter the fight in shape, which is something he didn’t do in the second fight. Can an in-shape, focused and determined Ruiz KO Joshua again? Ortiz is as old as dirt yet he too is dangerous. And as for Whyte, he has wanted a second go at Joshua ever since their thrilling 2015 slugfest.
Usyk is of course the most deserving opponent, as the Ukrainian has been waiting so long for his mandated shot at Joshua’s WBO belt.
“We’ve probably got ten days to decide what we’re going to do,” Hearn said as far as Joshua’s next fight. “There’s quite a few [options].”
Hearn says the Usyk fight has got to make “good business” for both sides and that this may well be the next fight. But Hearn has said he “wouldn’t rule out any scenario at the moment for Anthony Joshua.” What we do know is the massive, just-a-few-days-ago-we-thought-it was-nailed-on, Joshua-Tyson Fury fight is now firmly in the rear-view mirror. This fight, seemingly so close, is now further away than ever – with Hearn and Joshua even questioning whether or not Fury really and absolutely wanted the fight in the first place.
So which of the four possible fights interests you the most – Joshua-Ruiz III, Joshua-Whyte II, Joshua-Ortiz, or Joshua-Usyk? Again, all four fights have some merit and some intrigue. As Hearn says, in an ideal world it will be Usyk next. But we boxing fans do not live in an ideal world. Far from it.