Joshua v Cornish: British title fight possible for Brook v Rios bill

Anthony Joshua is closing in on a British heavyweight title challenge as the Olympic champion negotiates a fight with Gary Cornish for September 12.

The 26 year-old, who has won all 13 of his bouts within three rounds, is in talks to battle 21-0 Cornish for the vacant Lonsdale belt previously held by possible future opponent Tyson Fury.

Cornish, 28, has long been put forward as a top contender in the UK ranks due to his perfect record, but is yet to fully step up against any quality opposition and should be another routine night for Joshua. If the fight is agreed in the next few days, it could take place on the undercard of Kell Brook’s upcoming world title defense.

‘Gary Cornish is a very good opponent. We went up to Scotland once before and the atmosphere was unbelievable. He’s a big, strong guy. He’s someone I’d like to box,” Joshua told SportsMail after pulling out of a July 18 appearance on the Quigg v Martinez event later this month.

An announcement on the top of the bill clash featuring Brook is being held up by Floyd Mayweather making a formal decision on who will oppose him that same night, although ex-lightweight title holder Brandon Rios is thought to have already been agreed as the challenger.