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Hearn: Sky Rejected Fury-Klitschko - They See Joshua as The Future

As previously reported, Matchroom Sport plan to stage the first defence of Anthony Joshua's reign as IBF heavyweight champion at Wembley Stadium on July 9 - the same night Tyson Fury is scheduled to fight Wladimir Klitschko.

The 26-year-old clinically stopped defending champion Charles Martin in the second round at London's 02 Arena on Saturday, just six miles from where he won his Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games.

His emergence as a world champion leaves him well placed to become one of Britain's most popular sporting figures in the coming months.


There is a danger, however, that his first title defence could be overshadowed by WBA, IBO and WBO champion Fury's rematch with Klitschko.

Joshua's challenger will almost certainly not be as decorated or seasoned as Klitschko and the weekend of July 9 and 10 is already packed with top-level sport, with the Wimbledon singles finals, the Euro 2016 final, the British Formula One Grand Prix and the UFC 200 rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz all taking place over those two days.

"July, it was always going to be the ninth," said Eddie Hearn, when asked of his plans for Joshua's first title defence.

"We'll have to take a look at the top 15 (of the IBF heavyweight rankings), a lot of the guys are taken up (by fights that have already been arranged).

"If he's ready, I don't see why we can't get back early July. That's the plan. That was why Sky turned down the Fury-Klitschko fight (which will be on BoxNation) - they see AJ as the future.

"The plan would be to build AJ as a pay-per-view fighter in America as well. Wembley's where we were looking to go."

Though he showed no apparent vulnerability to fighting a southpaw for the first time in his professional career - Saturday fight's was only Joshua's 16th bout in the paid ranks - the swift and destructive nature of the finish meant he was unable to demonstrate if he had learnt from the mistakes made in his previous fight with Dillian Whyte.

The likelihood is Joshua remains more raw than Saturday suggested and will therefore require further time to develop before facing one of the heavyweight division's biggest names.

Fights with David Haye and Tyson Fury will become more probable in the next 12-18 months and generate significant mainstream interest and therefore money, and Joshua said: "George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier fought; Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis fought...

"Me, Tyson Fury and David Haye, we have to fight. We can't get through this whole era without fighting, that would be silly, we will get it on at the right time. It's just bound to happen at some stage."

Fury took to Twitter to criticise Joshua's performance, but the new IBF champion said: "I'm not going to lower myself (to respond to Fury), he talks like a kid. He's predictable really. He should be happy I won."

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Box-Office on 04-13-2016

[QUOTE=Vinnykin;16600243][B]They're using their Sky platform and Anthony Joshua's popularity to go head to head with Boxnation and at the same time outdo Tyson Fury[/B]. Hearn will push a Chisora fight or someone of that calibre at Wembley and the casual…

Comment by denium on 04-11-2016

At the end of the day, when has Wlad ever been involved in an entertaining fight? Since he got knocked out and adopted his safety first strategy, it's nearly impossible to look good against him. He's bigger than pretty much…

Comment by boxingfan1986 on 04-11-2016

I'm probably the one here but i actually enjoyed the tyson wlad fight. it was intriguing for me. Seeing Tyson just totally nullify Wlad. The way he just casually walked in and out of the pocket, lay a jab on…

Comment by ianjamsie on 04-11-2016

Sky are in the business of entertaining the public. This fight won't be entertaining.

Comment by tiois85 on 04-11-2016

The aj hype and myth building is moronic. ...whose falling for it? ?

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