Joshua’s next opponent may be decided Saturday

By Daily Sports Nigeria on May 31, 2024

Anthony Joshua is set to fill Wembley Stadium once more this September, and his opponent could well be decided on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.

The two-time heavyweight champion has been on the up since two losses to Oleksandr Usyk put him out of the title picture, with four wins in a row and glimpses of the destructive style he was known for when first on the scene.

Whilst an all-British grudge match with Tyson Fury will always be high priority, Joshua is focused on becoming world champ once again, and his route to doing so could become clear of obstacles in the coming weeks.

Despite Usyk’s win over Fury to become undisputed still fresh, the IBF is expected to force him to vacate its belt given a contracted rematch clause stops him from fulfilling his mandatory fight against Filip Hrgovic.

The Croatian fights against Daniel Dubois this Saturday, and promoter Eddie Hearn told Seconds Out he is targeting the winner against Joshua for the IBF belt.

“AJ will fight absolutely anyone. I’ve never known him to go, ‘oh I’d prefer to fight him.’ He basically said ‘tell me who the opponent is and let’s go.’ He’ll fight Hrgovic, he’ll fight Dubois, he’ll fight Wilder, he’ll fight Fury, he’ll fight Usyk, he’ll fight Parker. He doesn’t mind.

“Obviously the preference is to try and become world champion again. It’s very likely that the winner of Hrgovic against Dubois could fight AJ for the world heavyweight championship at Wembley. That would be very attractive.

“If Deontay Wilder wins in style on Saturday night, that’s gonna be a fight that resurfaces as well. In this new boxing age, expect the unexpected, but Saturday will tell us a lot about AJ’s next opponent. And he’ll be here.”

Usyk’s team are understood to have submitted a request to change the IBF’s ruling, but Hearn believes the belt will still be taken from him in the coming months.

“The ruling is Usyk has to fight Hrgovic next. We all know he’s not going to. So, he’s been waiting for the opportunity to fight for the title. It’s very likely that will become vacant.”

All eyes on Riyadh now, particularly for Hrgovic-Dubois.



Source Punch Ng

Posted May 31, 2024


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