Eddie Hearn claims Anthony Joshua is ‘nailed on’ to face Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder’ this year and outlines his plan for the heavyweight to fight THREE times in 2023 – and teases Dillian Whyte rematch this summer
- Anthony Joshua is set to fight three times in 2023, according to Eddie Hearn
- His promoter claimed he was ‘nailed on’ to face Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder
- Hearn also revealed Joshua would announce his latest opponent next week
Anthony Joshua is ‘nailed on’ to fight Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder in 2023, his promoter Eddie Hearn has claimed – as he set out hopes his star fighter will be involved in three showdowns this year.
Joshua is still reeling from his crushing split-decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk last summer and is looking to relaunch himself as a fighter and put himself back on the path to becoming a world champion again – with the 33-year-old now searching for a new coach after parting ways with Robert Garcia.
Hearn claimed Joshua was almost ready to announce his first opponent for this year – with his next fight set for April – and said he was planning three fights against credible opponents, saying Wilder – who is set to face Andy Ruiz next – and Fury were realistic targets for the end of the year.
Eddie Hearn (L) has outlined his plans for Anthony Joshua (R) to fight three times in 2023
He believes his star fighter is ‘nailed on’ to fight Tyson Fury (L) or Deontay Wilder (R) this year
‘I truly believe Deontay Wilder & Tyson Fury are nailed on for 2023,’ he told DAZN. ‘They have to be because AJ isn’t interested in having three or four-nothing fights. He’ll listen to his training team and take their advice.
‘There’s an open line of communication with [Deontay Wilder’s co-manager] Shelly Finkel. He’s [Wilder] going to fight Andy Ruiz. That fight has been ordered, and AJ is going to come back in the first week of April.
‘I’m not ruling out [that] fight #2 of the year could be Deontay Wilder, but we’ve got a plan. This guy is one of the biggest stars in boxing. This guy has so much more to give to the heavyweight division, but this is also a very important moment that we must get right.
‘Those lines of communication are open with Deontay Wilder, and we know it’s a huge fight. We know that fight does massive numbers in the UK, U.S, and Middle East. It doesn’t really matter, and that’s the fight.
‘He wants to be in the biggest fights possible, and he’s proved that his whole career.’
Hearn called AJ ‘one of the biggest stars in boxing’ and said he would face ‘credible’ opponents
He also teased a massive rematch against Joshua’s old rival Dillian Whyte in the summer
Hearn also teased a huge rematch against Joshua’s old rival Dillian Whyte in the summer, saying an epic clash against Wilder or Fury could be his reward should he come through that.
‘The plan now is to rebuild him to become a three-time heavyweight world champion, and the trainer will want to take the appropriate steps to do that,’ he added.
‘It’s all very well being brave, listening to Twitter, going out, and fighting Deontay Wilder [next] and doing this and doing that, but there has to be a plan, a smart plan.
‘A smart plan is he wants to return against a top 15 guy in a credible fight and return in the summer against probably Dillian Whyte and then move forward against Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury in a mega-fight in the ultimate 2023.’
He told fans they could expect an announcement about Joshua’s plans in the next week and also revealed details about his new coaching set up would follow too.
‘You’re talking about two of the biggest names in boxing in Canelo and Anthony Joshua [fighting this year]. AJ is fighting a month earlier than Canelo Alvarez, so he’ll be pretty much ready to go with an announcement in a week or so.
Joshua is in ‘a great place mentally’, Hearn added and said he should fight again in April
‘We pretty much know his date. We’re down to three or four opponents that we’re talking to. Obviously, rumors of his new training team, and there will be a full announcement from Anthony Joshua on that.
‘He’s in a great place and ready to start camp, actually. I believe this week that camp will begin. Honestly, I couldn’t give Anthony Joshua an opponent that he would turn down. It’s more about the training team.
‘He’s excited. He’s in a great place mentally. Like I said, camp is about to start for him, and I expect to see a great performance from him in April.
‘When people talk about rebuilding. We’re not rebuilding here. I’m looking for momentum. I’m not talking about [Joshua] fighting against a guy you’ve never heard of. I’m talking about a top 15 guy that AJ can go in and work with a new training team and have a big stadium fight in the summer.’