WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev has backed Anthony Joshua to be the next star of the division if the Briton continues his startling progress going forward.
Joshua has so far ploughed through all opposition in the division since entering the paid ranks on the back of Olympic gold in 2012 and Chagaev is among the masses that see the Londoner having a bright future.
“I have seen Joshua at the Olympics and I followed his first pro fights. He is an outstanding talent and can certainly develop into a great champion,” Chagaev exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I think he needs a little more experience and some more fights against top contenders to earn a world title shot, but he could be one of the successors of Wladimir Klitschko once he hangs up his gloves.”
Chagaev is confident that it’s just a matter of time before Joshua gets into the mix with the top fighters like Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Klitschko himself and believes that ‘AJ’ has the world at his feet at the tender age of 25.
“Joshua is still young, but it all depends on his mentality and on his body. If he doesn’t get injured and stays focused he should have a great future.”
On the possibility of facing Joshua in the future, Chagaev added: “There are some great fighters out there and I am ready to step into the ring against any of them. Joshua might need some more experience, but I have no preferences. Just line them up and bring them on.
“To be the best you have to beat the best. So I am ready to fight the best,” he added.
‘The White Tyson’ is next pitted against Italian challenger Francesco Pianeta in Madgeburg on July 11 as the 36 year-old prepares to make the third defense of the WBA title in what is the Uzbek’s second spell as champion.