Whether he was supposed to or not is now academic but the BBC’s John Inverdale has confirmed Anthony Joshua’s next world heavyweight title defence for November 26.
Inverdale mentioned that date towards the end of the BBC’s coverage of Joe Joyce winning a silver medal in his super-heavyweight final with Frenchman Tony Yoka and Twitter immediately went into meltdown. Promoter Eddie Hearn would only offer the following: “Announcement coming soon” as fans bombarded him with questions.
Hearn was then forced to inform The Daily Mail, where the Matchroom Boss has a regular column, that the information was correct.
The cat may have been let out of the bag prematurely, although doesn’t change the fact that ‘AJ’ is pencilled in for the date and will put his belt on the line for the second time at London’s O2 Arena.
Joshua won the title by beating Charles Martin at the venue in April and followed it up by taking out the former champion’s compatriot Dominic Breazeale just two months later.
Ahead of a mandatory clash with Joseph Parker, Joshua is once again being linked to facing another competitor from the opposite side of the Atlantic.
Eric Molina, Bryant Jennings and Bermane Stiverne are among the contenders, whilst the latter could be out of the running to the WBC’s recent announcement of an interim clash with Alexander Povetkin.
New Zealander Parker has to be given his shot by March of 2017 and would be a good addition to the undercard in November should Hearn want the UK and US public to get a better view of the next challenger in line.