Anthony Joshua seems to have at least his next four opponents nailed down as Eddie Hearn prompts a deal with Deontay Wilder.
Hearn is hopeful of nailing down Wilder but in all likeliness knows a rematch with Dillian Whyte is the most probable for April 13 at Wembley.
A huge offer has been made for Wilder to face Joshua for all the heavyweight marbles. This is despite Wilder also being locked in talks with Tyson Fury over a second fight.
Wilder and Fury shared twelve pulsating rounds on December 1. An epic which fans and media alike are fully on board with seeing again.
Should Wilder prove elusive, Joshua will face mandatory opponents in three of his next four outings.
Whyte is first up, with Hearn sure to lobby the WBO to make the contest a mandatory affair. Whyte is rated number one with the WBO. Which means a Joshua return would clear up that situation in the short term.
If Joshua comes through the improved Whyte again, Jarrell Miller is touted to be next as ‘AJ’ makes his move across the Atlantic.
Miller in New York in August or September would then lead Joshua into a stipulation with the IBF.
Kubrat Pulev, who was forced to withdraw from his first mandatory shot in late 2017, will be ordered for the spring of 2020 – at the very latest.
It’s even feasible the IBF could order Joshua to battle Pulev (📸 Mark Robinson) before Miller. Although those two are expected to follow the Whyte grudge match in either order.
Joshua could then pursue Wilder again for the summer of 2020 and may be more successful as time ticks down on the American’s career.
Following Wilder, Trevor Bryan will be in line for his shot if the WBA interim champion remains undefeated for the duration.
As things currently stand, any fight with Tyson Fury would have to take preference over a battle with Wilder. Any event would be purely Joshua’s own preference.
It’s possible Joshua could fight three times in 2019 to clear up all his mandatories. Miller could then be pushed to spring 2020 before Wilder or Fury later that year. Five out of those six names should be in the opposite corner to the Briton over the next eighteen months to two years.