Joshua’s Next Fight: Hearn Confirms September Clash

Joshua’s Next Fight: Rising the Ranks Again

Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has confirmed that the heavyweight contender’s next bout is set for September. The anticipated opponent will likely be the victor of the Filip Hrgovic vs. Daniel Dubois fight, although there remains a tantalising possibility involving Deontay Wilder.

Joshua’s Saudi Arabia Visit

As the boxing world gears up for this weekend’s ‘5 vs 5’ card, Hearn revealed that Joshua will be heading to Saudi Arabia. Joshua is keen to scrutinise his next potential rival up close. Although initially invited to the recent Oleksandr Usyk-Tyson Fury showdown, Joshua’s presence in Saudi Arabia signifies his serious commitment to rising through the ranks again.

The IBF Title Scenario

The clash between Hrgovic and Dubois was anticipated to be for the vacant IBF heavyweight title. The organisation had plans to strip Oleksandr Usyk of the title should he opt for an immediate rematch with Tyson Fury. However, with their rematch now set for December 21, Usyk, supported by Saudi benefactor Turki Alalshikh, has requested the IBF to allow all belts to be contested again.

Currently, the IBF is deliberating on this appeal. If the IBF decides to adhere to their regulations and strip Usyk for not fulfilling his mandatory defence (Hrgovic holds the No.1 contender spot), a September showdown between Joshua (ranked fourth) and either Hrgovic or Dubois (ranked third) could indeed be for the vacant title.

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Potential Marketability Concerns

There are concerns that the marketability of a Joshua vs. Hrgovic/Dubois fight might diminish if the IBF grants Usyk’s request. Regardless, a potential match-up between Joshua and Wilder, should the American perform impressively against Zhilei Zhang this weekend, promises to be a significantly more high-profile event.

Hearn commented, “The frontrunner to face AJ next is the winner of Hrgovic-Dubois, and hopefully it will be for the [IBF] world title but, at the same time, if Deontay Wilder comes and looks sensational maybe it reignites Joshua against Wilder.”

Official Announcement Pending

Hearn, who is negotiating with both George Warren and Alalshikh regarding Joshua’s next fight, mentioned that an official announcement will be made in the coming weeks. A press conference is tentatively scheduled for “June 24 or June 25” to confirm Joshua’s opponent.

If all proceeds as planned, the leading contender for whoever emerges victorious from the Usyk-Fury II bout will already be determined.

Hearn expressed his excitement, saying, “Great news that the rematch is made between Usyk and Fury because it’s a huge fight and I’m kind of glad it’s not in October because you get to August and [someone] is not quite ready and stuff like that. It gives the guys enough time.”

As anticipation builds, the boxing world awaits with bated breath to see how Joshua’s journey unfolds, as he aims to rise through the ranks once again and reclaim his status at the pinnacle of the heavyweight division.

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