After his big knockout win last Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, Anthony Joshua feels ready to take on any of the world’s elite heavyweights.
In a first defence of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight title, Joshua floored previously undefeated Dominic Breazeale twice in a comfortable seventh round knockout victory.
Such has been the rapid rise of Joshua, a gold medallist at the 2012 Olympics, that he is now talking about world title unification fights.
And it is hard to see who else will be left to fight if 26-year-old Joshua continues his astonishing run of knockouts, with Breazeale being his 17th stoppage victory from as many bouts since turning professional in October 2013.
But Joshua’s next fight is likely to be against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker, who is his mandatory challenger, while a fight against fellow Briton Tyson Fury has now been cast into doubt. Fury, 27, is due to fight former world No 1 Wladimir Klitschko later in the year after he last week pulled out a scheduled fight date of July 9 due to a sprained ankle.
Fury has not fought since November in which time Joshua has registered three knockouts, won a version of the world title and defended it once.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn plans to take the Briton overseas in the future and says a fight against Parker will happen in November at the earliest. He wants to eventually build up a huge pay-per-view unification with WBC champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35KOs), who on July 16th will defend his belt against Chris Arreola in Alabama.
"I've seen Deontay Wilder calling out AJ's name. That's a fight we'd like to build towards, a dual Pay-Per-View on Showtime in the US, and Sky here. We probably need a couple of more fights, maybe even a fight in America in early 2017," Hearn said.