Eddie Hearn has outlined his plans for Anthony Joshua following his loss to Oleksandr Usyk

Confirmed: Anthony Joshua to fight in UK next as Hearn targets Whyte rematch in 2023

EXCLUSIVE: Eddie Hearn confirms Anthony Joshua will fight next in the UK as he targets a December clash against a top 15 opponent, with plans to hold a stadium contest against Dillian Whyte in 2023 – and it won’t won’t be Wilder or Ruiz

  • Eddie Hearn outlined his plan for Anthony Joshua after Usyk loss
  • Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte have been mentioned as possible opponents for AJ
  • The next step in Joshua’s career is set to begin with a fight in December
  • Hearn has ruled out a long-awaited possible showdown against Deontay Wilder

Eddie Hearn has both confirmed that Anthony Joshua will return to the UK for his next fight and will be against a top 15 opponent, as well as revealing plans to stage a stadium fight against Dillian Whyte later this year. next.

Joshua suffered a second straight loss to Oleksandr Usyk earlier in August, after losing his WBA, WBO and IBF belts to the Ukrainian mastermind in September last year, with his record now at 24-3.

With the way now clear for Usyk and Tyson Fury to challenge for the undisputed championship, Joshua will embark on a new stage of his career, which will likely begin in December.

Eddie Hearn has outlined his plans for Anthony Joshua following his loss to Oleksandr Usyk

“We’re all aiming for a December comeback,” Hearn told Sportsmail on Wednesday. “It’s not confirmed, but that’s where everyone thinks.

“We are not booking a room, but the conversations – just yesterday – were in December for his return. I don’t want to start mentioning names, but this is a top 15 fight.’

Although remaining tight-lipped about Joshua’s exact identity, Hearn has been explicit about who Joshua won’t face in his next outing.

The Matchroom boss has ruled out a possible long-awaited showdown against Deontay Wilder, while stressing that a fight could happen down the line and insisting it will be bigger than an undisputed fight between Usyk and Fury .

Hearn has ruled out the possibility of Joshua facing Deontay Wilder in his next contest

Hearn has ruled out the possibility of Joshua facing Deontay Wilder in his next contest

Hearn also revealed that it won’t be former foes Whyte or Andy Ruiz Jr.

“He’ll be someone believable, who AJ can come back against, express himself and build on what he’s learning at camp,” Hearn added. “He can then rebuild to fight for a heavyweight title again.” The likes of Zhilei Zhang and Otto Wallin would definitely fall into this category.

As for where Joshua will return to the ring, Hearn is clear. Only two of his last five outings have been in the UK, having fought in the US for his first fight against Ruiz Jr, and in Saudi Arabia for rematches against Ruiz and Usyk.

“I would like to take him home,” he said. “Look, there is Zhang’s fight. A lot of people think he beat Filip Hrgovic and that’s a big fight in China, but I just think the next fight should be in the UK.

“It will be at the O2 or the Manchester Arena, we will not be doing a stadium fight,” he added.

Still, with proxies no longer an issue and an uncontested showdown no longer an option — for now, anyway — Hearn plans to have AJ travel once more after he returns.

“Now Joshua is in control of his own future,” he said. “We can fight who we want, when we want, where we want, and go on the AJ world tour. I want London, I want Vegas, I was Beijing, I want the Middle East and I want Australia. We can do all of this in a year.

Dillian Whyte (left) and Tyson Fury have been suggested as possible opponents for Joshua

Dillian Whyte (left) and Tyson Fury have been suggested as possible opponents for Joshua

For Hearn, Joshua’s dream of becoming a three-time heavyweight champion is still alive and well. Just like the possibility of fighting Wilder. So does the ability to fight Fury.

The longtime promoter wants Joshua to rebuild with at least two fights up front, with the second one potentially in the form of a tantalizing rematch against bitter rival Whyte.

“We’re talking to Dillian about his next fight in November, other people are making offers, but I see that fight in the spring or summer of 2023 at a stadium,” Hearn said. “It’s a massive fight.”

Meanwhile Hearn, who has spoken to Joshua on several occasions since his loss to Usyk, insisted there was one main name on the heavyweight’s mind: ‘Dillian Whyte’. He 100% wants to fight Dillian Whyte.

Hearn expects Joshua's next fight to be in London after his latest outing in Saudi Arabia

Hearn expects Joshua’s next fight to be in London after his latest outing in Saudi Arabia

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Confirmed: Anthony Joshua to fight in UK next as Hearn targets Whyte rematch in 2023

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