Anthony Joshua's next fight will NOT be vs Tyson Fury
- Wladimir Klitschko is a great option for Anthony Joshua in October or November
- Tyson Fury will have to wait until 2018 before he can take on Joshua
- Fury at Wembley next April could be our best chance at fight everyone wants
- Joshua needs to take a break but is already telling me he wants to get in the gym
How about that, then? It’s one thing filling out Wembley Stadium and breaking box office records, but to do it with one of the best heavyweight fights ever seen was truly special.
I can’t lie – there was a point in that fight after Wladimir Klitschko put Anthony Joshua down that I was temporarily in need of some new underpants, but his tenacity, heart and chin ticked so many boxes, answered so many questions.
It made it clear for all to see that we are talking about a truly remarkable fighter. I would say AJ is very much the biggest star in world boxing.
Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua’s win against Wladimir Klitschko was ‘truly special’
Hearn admits he was worried for Joshua at one stage, but the British fighter won in the 11th
The win made Joshua a household name worldwide – who he fights next is of huge interest
I’m so pleased that he will now get the credit he deserves for taking a fight of that magnitude at such an early stage in his career. It’s the kind of man he is.
To go in front of 90,000 people is a hell of a thing for someone so inexperienced, but he just went in there, took big hits, got knocked down, got up and brought the sporting world to its feet.
I think it’s important that people remember that AJ is learning under the bright lights and he is having these defining fights while still learning. That just makes it more impressive, and there is still so much more to come.
Promoter Hearn speaks to Joshua in the ring at Wembley after his victory on Saturday night
The reaction around the world in the past few days has been incredible. He was on the front of just about every newspaper, he has been spoken about around the world. I have heard from international governments wanting to stage his fights, from international broadcasters desperate to sign up or extend their existing deals.
We will have the option to take him to Africa, to the Middle East, to China, America. People are dying to get a piece of it. So what will happen next?
That is something that will be mapped out over the coming weeks. I spoke to AJ and he is already talking about getting back in the gym. He wants to get on the pads with Robert McCracken and work on a few things, address some concerns and improve.
It’s a completely natural reaction to what he has been through after a 14-week training camp and all the adulation and adrenaline of the fight. He must feel like he can do anything right now, but he has to take a break.
While Joshua wants to get back in the gym, he needs a rest following his extraordinary win
It’s important. He needs to get away, relax, take it all in and reflect on the truly brilliant nature of what he has achieved.
When he has done that he can get back to work, with the general idea being that his next fight will be around October or November. For that, we need to start looking at the options because there are a lot of them.
Obviously after a fight like that, a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko is very appealing. I believe Wladimir is keen so let’s wait to see on that, because if he is then it is a sequel people would definitely want to see and would draw huge interest from international broadcasters. I’m sure Wlad believes he nearly had AJ out of there and I know that AJ wants to iron out some mistakes and do a better job next time.
We also have to be mindful of Kubrat Pulev, who is AJ’s mandatory challenger for the IBF world title. That situation will need to be addressed at some point and it certainly won’t go away.
A rematch with Klitschko – who knocked Joshua down at one stage – is very appealling
Kubrat Pulev is AJ’s mandatory challenger for the IBF world title and must be considered
Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion from the USA, was ringside on Saturday and is an option
Joseph Parker has the WBO title and Joshua would love to fight the New Zealander for his belt
Then there’s Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion from the US who was ringside on Saturday. That fight would be huge, while Joseph Parker has the WBO title. Joshua would love to fight for either of those belts.
This brings us to Tyson Fury. Believe me when I say that there is nothing that I or AJ would want more than to see Tyson back in the ring, but it won’t be next – Tyson just won’t be ready.
Physically he is not at the races and he has a lot to resolve in terms of his doping hearing and getting his licence back. Those have to be sorted before we can make anything happen.
Talk has been rife of Tyson Fury – who beat Klitschko in 2015 – being next up for Joshua
Hearn: While I want to see Fury back in the ring soon, he is not yet fit enough to face Joshua
If they do get sorted, then it is a huge option for us in the short to mid-term future. We all know that AJ would love that fight.
As it stands, I think the best chance of a Fury fight is April 2018, at Wembley. That depends on a successful defence in October or November and everything falling into place for Fury. If it does, that will be another incredible night for an incredible fighter.
Rest assured, if we can make it happen, we will make it happen. One thing I can promise you is that this young man has changed the face of boxing and I for one cannot wait for the future.