Anthony Joshua is set to return to the United Kingdom on December 17 with several opponents in the mix to face the Londoner.
After heading outside his homeland against Oleksandr Usyk last month, AJ will return to home comfort again.
However, a promised ‘World Tour’ has failed to materialize for the third time in the former world champion’s career.
Who will Anthony Joshua fight next?
Promoter Eddie Hearn told fans he was looking to push Joshua out to five regions worldwide. But looking at the options for a return, Joshua’s next two fights will likely be in Britain.
Firstly, Otto Wallin, Chris Arreola, Zhilei Zhang, and Dillian Whyte are all in the mix to face Joshua later this year.
After that, Joshua’s promoter is expected to make another big move. They need to position Joshua for a mandatory world title shot.
Once he’s back in the win column, Joshua will have to face Daniel Dubois, Joe Joyce, or Filip Hrgovic to land a mandatory shot at the title.
The latter in Hrgovic is now the easiest to make as both boxers campaign on DAZN.
Joshua vs Hrgovic
Furthermore, WBN understands there is no chance that Joshua vs Hrgvoic gets made outside of the UK. The Watford man cannot afford to risk another damaging defeat.
Ironically, Joshua could face Zhang before Hgrovic. Both of whom fought on his rematch undercard in Saudi Arabia.
If Joshua can overcome the Croatian IBF number one, he’ll again be mandatory for a shot at the belts.
But he is under the clock as champion Oleksandr Usyk will be ordered to face Dubois, Joyce, or Hrgovic soon. He needs to defeat one of those to become the number one contender for his old Ukrainian foe.
Tyson Fury’s next fight
A fight with Tyson Fury looks further away than ever as the two promotional stables jockey to have control of the fight.
An offer could be made on behalf of Anthony Joshua to WBC ruler Fury’s team by Matchroom Boxing in 2023. It is doubtful to get accepted by Frank Warren if anything in the contract favors Joshua.
This means the two-time world champion has no choice but to go down the route of the other heavyweight belts for the first six months of next year.
Deontay Wilder is off the table as he’s set to face AJ conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr. if the American heavyweight can defeat Robert Helenius in a WBC title eliminator this weekend.
Fury is likely to battle Derek Chisora in a Battle of Britain fight Dec 3rd in the UK before Usyk in the Middle East.
This leaves Joshua with scraps and no choice but to attempt to land that mandatory spot to force another world title fight.
Wembley Arena is currently the favored venue for ex-IBF, WBA, and WBO champion Joshua’s next bout.
There is a plan.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.