Anthony Joshua is a man in high demand!
Two-time world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua's (23-1, 21KOs) list of potential challengers are queuing up, but first the unified champion has his IBF mandatory opponent Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) to contend withat Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.
The WBA 'Super', IBF, WBO an IBO titleholder is presently being targeted by an array of hopeful heavyweights, who are all trying to force their way into contention by winning eliminators with the various governing bodies.
History-making cruiserweight Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13KOs) was immediately installed as the WBO heavyweight mandatory challenger, having previously held the WBO cruiserweight title during his spell as the division's undisputed champion, and only man to hold all four belts in the weight's history.
Usyk had been ordered to fight Joshua at the same time as Pulev, but he gracefully stepped aside to instead risk his mandatory status in a tough fight with Derek Chisora (32-9, 23KOs), expected to take place in May. A defeat to 'War' Chisora will ruin his chances of facing AJ, and the Londoner will then replace him as a contender to AJ's titles.
Former victim of Joshua's, Joseph Parker (27-2, 21KOs) patiently sits at No.2 in the World Boxing Organisation's rankings and has welcomed a potential eliminator against Britain's Daniel Dubois (14-0, 13KOs), who is just behind at No.3.
On March 7, Finland's Robert Helenius (30-3, 19KOs) produced a dramatic fourth-round knockout win over the previously-unbeaten Adam Kownacki (20-1, 15KOs) in a WBA eliminator in Brooklyn.
'The Nordic Nightmare' is a two-time European champion and had previously suffered three defeats, including a 2017 point loss to Dillian Whyte, and is likely to be ordered into a final eliminator to earn a mandatory fight for the WBA 'Super' belt.
Trevor Bryan (20-0, 14KOs) is the No.1 contender in the overcomplicated WBA rankings and the American, who holds the WBA 'interim' title, will instead challenge Manuel Charr (31-4, 17KOs) for the WBA 'Regular' title, which he has held snce September 2016, when he defeated Sefer Seferi, but has only defended once during his inactive three-and-a-half year reign.
The man with the golden ticket, Kubrat Pulev, has already secured his shot at Joshua, but former IBF titleholder Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25KOs) has surprisingly propelled himself back into contention.
The American's brief reign as IBF champion was ended by a second-round stoppage loss to Joshua in 2016, although 'Prince Charles' has responded by winning five of his next six fights, culminating in last month's knockout of Gerald Washington (20-3-1) in an IBF eliminator.
Martin will still have to fight in a final eliminator, potentially against former European champion Agit Kabayel (19-0, 13KOs), as he tries to force a rematch with Joshua.
The aforementioned Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk is the International Boxing Organisation No.1.
In the second spot is Andy Ruiz Jr, the only man to beat champion Joshua as a professional. Joshua avenged that defeat, and another notable boxer he avenged a loss to - the defeat came during his amateur career - is IBO No.3 Dillian Whyte.
Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21KOs) is the man everyone wants to see in the ring with Joshua next, but he has a WBC title defence to focus on against Deontay Wilder (42-1-1) after he activated the rematch clause following his seventh-round stoppage loss to 'The Gypsy King' in Las Vegas in February.
The WBC Interim champion is Dillian Whyte, who is mandated to challenge Fury in February 2021, or whoever has the green and gold belt at that time.
If both Britons win their summer fights, then the demand forthe pair to finally meet will be too high not to happen.
The list of contenders lined up for Joshua could mean that not all the marbles will be on the line though. Usyk has stepped aside once already; if he beats Chisora, he won't step aside again to wait for AJ-Fury. Therefore, it's possible the belt will have to be vacated, but here's hoping that Eddie Hearn can work miracles to make the super-fight finally take place.