Anthony Joshua is hoping to land a fight with Deontay Wilder in 2019 before securing his first fight outside the UK.
Promoter Eddie Hearn is currently working on a plan for an undisputed unification with Wilder. Hearn then wants to put together a potential clash in Africa or the United States.
That’s the plan but it’s highly unlikely to be the reality.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Hearn presented his case for a blockbuster 2019. It contains Wilder beating Fury and facing Joshua before AJ ends the year with a fight overseas.
For one thing, a contract with Wilder has to be agreed first and is far from that at the moment. Several points need addressing, including giving Wilder a full (not partial) rematch clause.
The second huge reason is Hearn wants a decision from Wilder before he faces Fury. Something which would be highly disrespectful of the American to his forthcoming foe.
Seemingly overlooking Fury to agree with Joshua simply cannot happen and would have to be done in a very hush, hush manner.
Talks between Joshua and Wilder have so far been far from that. So the biggest fight in boxing looks to be a non-starter for next April anyway.
Dillian Whyte has already been earmarked and effectively promised that spot, meaning a rematch is almost nailed on for the spring.
As for Joshua’s first fight abroad. That blueprint could hinge on Hearn getting approval from the WBO for Whyte to be mandatory.
Whyte is number two behind the recently defeated Alexander Povetkin, and with the WBO revealing plans to announce a number one contender shortly, ‘The Bodysnatcher’ may be sanctioned for a final eliminator for his December return.
Dereck Chisora may not be approved alongside Whyte as he’s rated 13th. But stablemate Jarrell Miller would be as the third-ranked contender.
Miller fighting in October puts to bed any December fight, with January the only possible time for the fight.
But would Hearn want two of his world title prospects facing each other when he can get them a separate shot at Joshua – probably not.
So, in a nutshell, the Whyte clash is certain to be a voluntary, meaning Joshua will have to fight a mandatory later in the year.
Could that be Miller in the USA? – It’s possible – provided ‘Big Baby’ can get that final eliminator done and dusted by the spring.
If it’s not Miller with the WBO, the winner of Kubrat Pulev v Hughie Fury will be next, meaning Tyson – as Hearn stated – is one hundred percent off the table until at least 2020.
Taking a contest versus Pulev or Fury to the United States may not be wise, although Africa could then become an attractive alternative.
Dillian Whyte – April 13th at Wembley Stadium
Jarrell Miller or Pulev v Fury winner – TBA in the United States or Africa
Pulev v Fury winner / Wilder or Tyson Fury – Spring/Summer in UK
Wilder or Tyson Fury? – TBA
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay