With it looking increasingly more likely that WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight ruler Oleksandr Usyk will be unable to fight Anthony Joshua (or any boxing opponent) any time soon, as passionately engaged in the ongoing Ukraine invasion as he is; with Usyk fighting in the streets along with the Klitschko brothers and Vasiliy Lomachenko, it seems Joshua will have to wait for his rematch.
As Eddie Hearn has discussed, if this happens (and it really is looking likely; the Ukraine conflict raging as it is) Joshua will look to take an interim fight. But who could the opponent be? It’s speculation and nothing more, but here are some good fighters Joshua could face as he looks to stay sharp and work with his new trainer.
A southpaw like Usyk, the tall Swede is a man who is looking for a fight himself, having lost that big date with Dillian Whyte. Wallin has boxed in the UK and he would almost certainly be willing to do so again against Joshua. Does this fight make sense as an interim fight for Joshua, or is it too dangerous?
Another lefty, Ortiz may not have too long left in his career, as old as he is (42 officially, some people say he is a good deal older than that) and he would surely grab the chance to fight AJ if it were offered to him. And Ortiz would be expected to give AJ some stuff to think about and take him some rounds. But again, would this fight be too risky for Joshua at this stage of his career?
A tough journeyman
The problem Joshua faces if he does decide to take an interim bout is the fact that he is such a big star. Would the fans accept it if AJ faced a no-name, a fighter not ranked in the Top-10? On the one hand, Joshua could theoretically fight a nobody and still pull in a huge crowd, but on the other hand, would AJ feel comfortable facing a non-elite fighter?
A real risk
Joe Joyce or Daniel Dubois.
It goes without saying that either of these two fights would be big, very possibly too big to be a mere interim fight, and in this regard neither fight is likely. But Joshua will have to find someone to fight if the Usyk fight is delayed by some months.
Who do YOU think Joshua will pick if he does take an interim bout?