Hearn on Anthony Joshua return: "It will be a top-fifteen guy"

Eddie Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing, and promoter of heavyweight boxing superstar Anthony Joshua was recently in the San Francisco Bay Area to promote Devin Haney versus Regis Prograis, which is proving to be a commercial success. 

ProBox TV News took the time to inquire with Hearn about new developments with Anthony Joshua. As reported yesterday by ProBox TV News, Joshua will still train with Derrick James despite reports of him working with Ben Davison for his upcoming. Oh, and his upcoming fight, has been one in which many have speculated a ton about who it could be, but one name it won’t be is Deontay Wilder as it appears talks have hit the skids once again.

“It will be a top-fifteen guy,” said Hearn when speaking about Joshua’s next opponent directly. “If it is not Wilder, if it is not a mega-fight, it has got to be someone that people are still interested in.”

Over the past few weeks, we have seen a slew of names floated out there, but with names such Filip Hrgovic and Zhilei Zhang being the most interesting ones. Though recently we have heard names such as Otto Wallin, Agit Kabayel, and Mahmoud Charr also be mentioned. It is clear that if Joshua were to fight on December 23rd, the opponent is not yet locked in, or for public consumption, yet.

Hearn seems more than convinced that Tyson Fury versus Oleksandr Usyk will happen later this year, though given the awful showing Fury had that bout seemingly has been pushed back to February. The goal appears to be for Joshua to fight in December, but nothing is official as of now. Hearn outlined what he saw as the future for Fury and Usyk.

“The IBF were closing in on calling Hrgovic the mandatory,” said Hearn at a media scrum. “What would be happening behind the scenes is the IBF would being talking to Oleksandr Usyk and Usyk would be saying ‘we’re in negotiations to fight Tyson Fury. The IBF would then say we can’t hold off any longer, we need confirmation that this fight is done. I’ll let you go from there, but I still believe that the fight is probably agreed, and will happen. 

As for when it will happen, it appears the rumored December 23rd date might just be the preference as Hearn stated the following to ProBox TV News.

“Either, [December or January],” stated Hearn when asked about the return date. “Every fighters preference is to fight in December [as] then [they can have] have Christmas [than fighting] in January.”