Anthony Joshua defeated Jermaine Franklin earlier this year, but he might not have made any new fans in the process. A very tactical Joshua won a rather lackluster fight with Derrick James serving as his new head coach after Joshua removed Robert Garcia from his duties of being his head coach.
Joshua is now rumored to return on August 12th, as Frank Smith of Matchroom Boxing told Boxing Social. This comes as a mild shock as many expected Joshua to wait until December to fight Anthony Joshua in an alleged massive multi-million dollar heavyweight super fight between himself and Deontay Wilder.
If Joshua were to return here are some names of opponents who Joshua might face, as Joshua would hope to fight in August and potentially return again in December.
Dillian Whyte II
A fearsome slugger, who might have seen better days, but is training with Buddy McGirt now in the L.A. area. Whyte packs a tremendous punch and was one of Joshua’s first stern tests, which was the fight before Joshua won the IBF heavyweight world title when he knocked out Charles Martin.
Whyte is surely the favorite to land the fight as he has a huge fanbase in the United Kingdom, and is a great talker. The bout sells itself for the scale it exists at. It is a fun regional event that hopefully serves as an appetizer for one of the most exciting heavyweight fight nights in recent history if leads up to Joshua versus Deontay Wilder.
The most dangerous active opponent, Joshua could face without having to cross too many promotional barriers. The underrated trait of Joshua is he often goes to danger for better or for worse. Joshua tried to outbox the masterful boxer, Oleksandr Usyk and immediately wanted the rematch. It might not be wise for Joshua to face Michael Hunter, but Hunter is also getting older with each passing day and is one of the most intriguing names available for him to fight.
Though it might not be realistic. It is worth mentioning
Undefeated Australian Demsey McKean has fought in the O2 Arena and has been rumored to face Anthony Joshua in the past. On paper, McKean has an unblemished record and is the biggest unknown of all the fighters.
We simply don’t know much about him at the world-class level but with a record of 22-0, 14 KOs, and seven sanctioned ten-round bouts to his name. McKean could be a dark horse to fit into this slot, though he would fit the bill of a high-risk, low-reward opponent, meaning if Joshua beats McKean he gets little to no credit, and McKean fairs well people will slander Joshua.
McKean is an interesting person to keep an eye on in this situation.
Former cruiserweight world champion, Murat Gassiev, who now fights at heavyweight seemingly fell off the face of the earth after losing to Oleksandr Usyk. Gassiev has only fought four times since 2019 with his last win being a second-round KO over Mike Balogun (the man who knocked out Trey Lippe Morrison).
Gassiev has some name value and is a smaller man compared to Joshua. Though it seems highly unlikely that this would be Joshua’s next opponent it would be an interesting and serviceable opponent, especially to answer some questions Joshua might have lingering from the Franklin fight.
Joshua was supposed to fight Jarrell Miller before Miller tested positive for PEDs. Miller has been making a return to the ring. In March, Miller stopped Lucas Browne in the sixth round of the fight scheduled for ten rounds in Dubai. Miller has three wins under his belt since returning to the ring in 2022.
If Joshua wanted to revisit this match-up this could be interesting as the build-up to the bout prior was one of the more interesting Joshua fights I can remember and led to the last-minute Andy Ruiz Jr., KO of Anthony Joshua.