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Hearn reveals Joshua options for next fight: Wilder, Ortiz, Wallin & Joyce

Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder boxing photo

By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua has given him his four-fighter list of potential options for his next fight in May or June after learning that IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk won’t be available to face him their contractual rematch.

Usyk is still tied up in defending Ukraine from the Russian invasion, and he won’t be free to defend against Joshua. Hearn says he spoke with his promoter Alex Krassyuk and got the official word from him about Usyk’s availability.

According to Hearn, he believes Joshua’s #1 choice for his next fight is former WBC champion Deontay Wilder. However, the 36-year-old Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) is coming off consecutive knockout losses to Tyson Fury, and he’s not sure if he wants to continue his career.

Assuming Hearn can get Wilder to agree to the fight, Joshua needs to think carefully before he makes this choice. Joshua must know that by fighting a dangerous puncher like Wilder, he’ll be risking his fight with Usyk and potentially the remainder of his career.

While it may seem to some boxing fans that Wilder is totally shot after his two defeats against Fury, he’s still highly dangerous and can potentially KO Joshua.

The shots that Fury was hit with by Wilder in their three fights would likely have put Joshua to sleep to the point where even a long count wouldn’t save him.

Wilder said recently in an interim that he wants to go on a mental journey to decide whether he wants to continue fighting. After everything Wilder went through in his two fights with Fury, his view about boxing has been altered, seeing the seamy side of the sport.

If Hearn can’t get Wilder to agree to the fight with Joshua, he should have no problems getting one of the other three fighters from AJ’s list to face him in May or June.

Fighting Joshua is like hitting the lottery for fighters, and aside from Wilder, he can pretty much fight anyone he wants without worry of being turned down.

“I think Joshua was talking about Ortiz or Wallin, a southpaw would make more sense, Joe Joyce, and AJ talked about Deontay Wilder,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on Joshua’s interim opponent.

Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder boxing photo

“I think if you asked AJ right now ‘what’s your top choice?’ I think he’d go for Deontay Wilder. That’s a big fight. It’s not an interim fight, let’s be honest. It could be a bigger fight than Oleksandr Usyk.

“He has no fear of fighting these people. He would rather fight [these people]. He’s all about resume, legacy, challenges,” said Hearn.

 




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