Eddie Hearn encourages AJ to fight again this year
‘There’s massive fights for him’ – Anthony Joshua has two huge opponents lying in wait for December, reveals Eddie Hearn
Anthony Joshua could return in a massive fight by December following defeat to Oleksandr Usyk again.
The British superstar, for the second time within a year, was beaten on points by the pound-for-pound No.1.
It leaves AJ out of the heavyweight title picture but still in line to face some of the biggest names in the division.
Promoter Eddie Hearn told talkSPORT: “I’d like to see him back out. Maybe even in late December.
“There’s massive fights for him. Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder.
“There’s so many fights for him in the top [ten]. There’s even some Brits for him that are coming through in a couple of fights as well.”
“We’ve just got to see what he wants to do. It’s going to be a tough, tough defeat to take but he’ll be back.”
Joshua, 32, beat Dillian Whyte, 34, in 2015 which came six years after losing their bout in the amateurs.
And Wilder, 35, who returns on October 15, was a long-standing rival of AJ's but the pair failed to agree terms in the past.
Joshua lost the WBA, WBO and IBF titles last September on points and travelled to Saudi Arabia 11 months on for a revenge mission.
He had his moments and went out swinging over the distance but Usyk, 35, was just too good for the new and improved AJ.
Hearn was quick to shut down any talk of retirement following defeat to one of the finest boxers in the business.
He said: “People talked in the build-up about him retiring.
“When you lose a split decision to the pound-for-pound number one, why would you contemplate retirement?
“It’s about passion. It’s about if you still want it. You could see how much he wanted it by his post-fight interview.”
BBN Editor, Tim Rickson, added: “I agree that there's so many options available to AJ after his third career defeat. He says he loves the sport and wants to leave a legacy, so I expect him to fight for many more years if what he says is true. A fight with Zhilei Zhang in China would be huge and the Chinese heavyweight really announced himself on the big stage against Hrgovic in their IBF Eliminator on the Josh's undercard. Wilder seems to be busy for a few months with Helenius in October, followed by the winner of Ruiz Jr. vs Ortiz next. Otto Wallin gave AJ's biggest rivel Tyson Fury a real scare in their 2019 fight, so beating him in a better way would reignite the public's demand for Joshua vs Fury. Dillian Whyte would make for a blockbuster rematch, with Whyte much improved and more experienced since their first fight. A rearranged fixture with American Jarrell Miller would be of interest, with everyone wanting to see the drug cheat get knocked out. Daniel Dubois for the WBA 'Regular' would also be a big fight. There's very many attractive prospects for him, so I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.”