Eyebrow-raising names on Eddie Hearn’s five possibilities for AJ next

Anthony Joshua

Lawrence Lustig

Eddie Hearn has mentioned five potential opponents for Anthony Joshua in April, two of those coming from left field.

The Matchroom boss name-dropped former super-middleweight and light-heavyweight king Andre Ward as one. Plus former Joshua opponent Wladimir Klitschko as another.

Whoever comes out on top between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora and the obvious choice in Deontay Wilder make up the final quintet.

Where Ward’s potential to face Joshua came from seems a mystery, although the American does seem to be continually linked to facing everybody these days.

Callum Smith at 168 pounds was also mentioned this week. So it seems highly unlikely that Ward would be on the cards for both – if any.

Ward is happily retired and has been ever since Sergey Kovalev was put the sword in his final bow.

As for Klitschko, a rematch two years on from their epic collision in 2017 is not out of the realms of reality, according to Hearn.

“People talk about Andre Ward, Wladimir Klitschko, who knows what could happen? But you can’t just limit yourself to saying ‘all eggs in one basket for Deontay Wilder or Dillian Whyte’ because he’s got a very tough fight against Derek Chisora. Chisora and Haye are thinking, ‘we’re going to beat Dillian Whyte and fight AJ ourselves,'” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“Bernd Boente said, ‘It’s not Wladimir Klitschko,’ and Wladimir said, ‘Hold on, don’t talk for me, I’ll talk for myself.’

“An April return, Wladimir Klitschko against Joshua, who knows? That would be what? Two years on from their first epic fight. It was one of the best heavyweight fights of all time. We’ll see.”


As for Joshua taking in this weekend’s event featuring Wilder and Tyson Fury, Hearn said the world ruler would watch if not scheduled to attend in the flesh.

“We’ve got our show in Italy next Friday, and AJ goes out on Tuesday to film in America,” explained Hearn.

“He’ll also be at the Canelo fight with DAZN, and he’ll be doing a lot of media stuff around there.

“Will he watch? Probably, yeah. I haven’t really spoken to him about the fight that much. He’s just focused on Deontay Wilder.”

Should Wilder defeat Fury, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ would become the number one heavyweight on the planet.

It’s an unthinkable feat from twelve months ago and only comes to fruition due to the remarkable comeback from the depths of despair by Fury.

A Fury upset would see Joshua facing up to the fact he’ll be out of the undisputed loop for at least another year.

AJ will also be widely recognized as the number two in the division despite holding numerous world title belts.