IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) is hanging back and waiting to get a clearer picture about the next step in his career.
Back in April, Joshua secured the biggest win of his career with an eleventh round stoppage of former division ruler Wladimir Klitschko. The bout drew a record crowd of 90,000 fans at Wembley in London.
Joshua dropped Klitschko in the fifth round, but then went down hard himself in the sixth. Klitschko appeared to be on his way to a win, but Joshua rallied in the late rounds for two more knockdowns and TKO win.
Klitschko has a rematch clause in place and he is expected to make a decision on taking that path by early June.
Joshua, who sparred with Klitschko several years ago, would rather see the 41-year-old veteran retire from the ring. Klitschko was praised for his performance and many felt it was the best fight of his entire career.
"Klitschko lost to me, but he still went away as a winner. But during the rematch there will be belts and pride at stake, but, you know, this is exactly the type of fight when he thinks he can beat me and when I already have something to lose. I would definitely try it, but I'm not Wladimir, and I do not know what he wants, but if he listened to me, I would say: 'Friend, it was an amazing performance, you were very good, but you did not win. So leave on a positive note and let the other guys take your place,'" Joshua said to the Hindustan Times.
If Klitschko takes a pass on the fight, then Joshua will likely make a mandatory defense against Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria. The date and location of Joshua's next fight has yet to be determined, but a fall date in October or Noevmber has been mentioned.