WBN conducted a fan poll earlier this month to see who the fans thought would be facing Anthony Joshua next.
The unified heavyweight king posted his own vote after defeating Alexander Povetkin on September 22. With the boxing community polling unequivocally in favor of Joshua facing Deontay Wilder.
Wilder and his team are unwilling to play ball until after Tyson Fury on December 1. Rightly so, and could see Joshua’s future steered away from the American.
World Boxing News asked fans to state who they thought would be in the opposite corner on April 13, not who they wanted the Londoner to face, and over half said it would be Dillian Whyte trading blows with his old foe at Wembley Stadium.
Despite Joshua devastatingly knocking Whyte out in the first 2015 meeting, the ‘Bodysnatcher’ has clawed his way to another chance.
Eddie Hearn wanted a deal negotiated for Joshua v Wilder, at least partly, before Fury’s challenge. A move which has almost certainly meant the undisputed unification fight won’t happen next.
Wilder has to defeat Fury, and probably in devastating fashion. That way, he can avoid a rematch and have a chance at Joshua in April.
The five-month turnaround already means Wilder wouldn’t get much time off. Therefore, it would largely make sense for Wilder to wait until after Fury, according to just, according to Slots Adviser.
A hard twelve-round slog with Fury may see Wilder look for a later return in 2019. Meaning an agreement with Joshua now wouldn’t make sense.
Hearn is now destined to move on from attempting to land Wilder. A move which has repercussions and will see fans having to wait until at least 2020.
The IBF are set to call Kubrat Pulev for his mandatory within the next six months. Even so, fans don’t see the Bulgarian in the ring with Joshua next.
Pulev would be more likely for an August or September clash in order for Joshua to clean up another mandatory.
Povetkin represented the WBA stipulation, whilst Whyte could be lobbied as the WBO version. Meaning Joshua would be free to negotiate with Wilder from the back end of next year.
Not ideal for fans, but with the magnitude of the Fury event, Wilder has to see where things lie once the dust settles.
A UK rematch or event trilogy with Fury is highly possible, leaving Joshua free to face Whyte, Pulev and even Jarrell Miller in the meantime.