As fans know, WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua is set to fight at Wembley on April 13th of next year – against TBA. It has been said by many people that the challenger in the opposite corner will be Dillian Whyte, in a rematch; providing Whyte beats Dereck Chisora in their December 22 return battle. But promoter Eddie Hearn, in talking about who AJ might face in April, has thrown in something of a curveball.
In speaking with IFLTV, Hearn said the following:
“[There’s] lots going on. Lots going on. Loads. I’m not going to tell you because you’ll find out in due course. Would it be a shock to everyone else? Yes,” Hearn said. “It might be Deontay Wilder or Dillian Whyte, it might be a wildcard. It might be, it might not be.”
The big fight fans of course wants to see next, is a heavyweight unification between Joshua and Wilder (providing of course Wilder defeats Tyson Fury on December 1st), but if this doesn’t happen in April, and if Whyte either loses to Chisora or takes yet another fight before getting his well-earned world title shot, then who might it be for AJ in April? Just who is the “wildcard” Hearn has spoken of?
Let’s take a look at some possibilities:
Might the cruiserweight king decide to go for heavyweight glory much quicker than expected? This would be a brave move from the Ukrainian, or maybe a foolish move. Still, stranger things have happened in this sport. Odds on this fight taking place in April: 20/1.
In great physical shape and admitting recently how he has thought about making a comeback if something big was available, might Wladimir shock us all and fight a return battle with Joshua? It’s unlikely but all the same this one cannot be entirely ruled out. Odds on this fight taking place in April: 25/1.
Might the former long-reigning WBC king shock us all and make a ring return at the age of 47? Not too long ago, perhaps jokingly, perhaps not, Vitali actually spoke about making a return. Sure, this fight would attract its share of critics, but the fans would buy it. Has Vitali been secretly training? Odds on this fight taking place in April: 30/1
This one would not cause too many surprises, and in no way is Hearn talking about Miller when he refers to a “wildcard.” Still, this fight would be a sell-able fight and very likely an exciting fight. Odds on this fight taking place in April: 8/1.
Other (vague) possibilities: Might AJ get it on with an MMA fighter? Might Joshua face a fighter other than Usyk who will move up in weight? Andre Ward, anyone!
How long will Hearn keep us all in suspense??