By Miftaudeen Raji
Anthony Joshua could face Dillian Whyte in a rematch, his promoter, Eddie Hearn has confirmed.
Negotiations are also afoot to schedule a bout between Joshua and ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia in December.
Recall that Joshua’s last outing in April saw him defeat Jermaine Franklin by unanimous decision at the iconic O2 Arena.
This win marked his triumphant return to boxing since December 2020 and has sparked intense speculation regarding his next opponent.
The British professional boxer had expressed a desire to face off against Wilder, but Hearn believes an additional fight under the guidance of trainer Derrick James would be beneficial for the heavyweight champion.
Hearn, known for his insightful analysis, emphasized the fervor surrounding a potential rematch with Whyte.
He firmly believes that Joshua would be fully motivated to face his rival, highlighting the anticipated intensity of their bout. Negotiations for a December clash in Saudi Arabia between Joshua and Wilder are already underway, with Hearn confidently stating, “They know the numbers we want.”
Eddie Hearn reveals plans for Joshua-Wilder showdown in Saudi Arabia, contemplates risky Whyte rematch
In an interview with Samina For Sale, Hearn further explained the potential deal with Saudi Arabia, drawing upon the success of previous fights, such as the Ruiz and Usyk bouts.
He expressed confidence that if the Fury-Usyk fight failed to materialize, the Saudis would still deliver the Joshua-Wilder showdown, given the financial terms both parties are seeking.
Hearn emphasized the importance of securing the Wilder fight first, and then working backward to determine the opponent for Joshua’s August battle.
While Hearn is intrigued by the prospect of a fight with Whyte, he acknowledges the risks associated with taking on such a formidable opponent ahead of a potentially career-defining match with Wilder.
Despite some concerns that Whyte’s recent performances indicate a decline, having suffered knockouts against Alexander Povetkin and Tyson Fury, there are those who dispute Joshua’s victory over Franklin, with the American claiming he was “robbed” by the British judges.
As a result, some boxing enthusiasts argue that Joshua should consider facing Otto Wallin, Filip Hrgovic, Andy Ruiz Jr, Zhilei Zhang, or Luis Ortiz before entering the ring against Wilder in December.
The aim would be to ensure that Joshua is adequately prepared and motivated for the challenges that lie ahead, as a lukewarm or one-sided encounter would not effectively ready him for the intense showdown with the dangerous Wilder.