Tuesday, October 03, 2023  |



Anthony Joshua wants Dereck Chisora next

Fighters Network
Photo by Justin Tallis - AFP/Getty Images

Joshua (R) was tested before stopping fierce rival Dillian Whyte. Photo by Justin Tallis – AFP/Getty Images

Immediately after securing a 15th-straight knockout in 15 outings, English heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua suggested his seventh-round victory over longtime rival Dillian Whyte proved very little.

A few days on, however, it seems there are some lessons being learned from the longest night yet of the undefeated Brit’s career. Before his brutal battle with Jamaican-born Whyte (16-1, 12 knockouts) at the Docklands’ O2 Arena, the talk was that Joshua would be facing THE RING heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in 2016.

By Monday, Joshua’s focus was on a rather less-dangerous countryman for his next opponent in early April, the 31-year-old Londoner Dereck Chisora (24-5, 16 KOs).

Perhaps failing to finish off Whyte as early as he wanted, along with being caught flush several times in the process, had acted as a reality check for the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and his Matchroom promoter, Eddie Hearn.

“You can’t come into pro boxing, show a bit of talent, be thrown into the deep end and for people then to think you are going to blitz everyone,” said Joshua, who climbed to No. 9 in the ratings after his win over Whyte, to Sky Sports News HQ.

“Fury has been a pro for eight or 10 years. I know Chisora has been pro for a long time too but I need to fight people who are still hungry and good enough, but who I still have a good chance of beating.

“I need to build myself up so, when I get to the top, I have the confidence that I have been in deep waters, I have been 12 rounds, I’ve been hurt and I’ve come back.”

While fighting unbeaten Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) in the foreseeable future is off the agenda, Joshua is full of praise for the way the new champion, who beat all-conquering Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in Germany last month, has reached the top.

“That’s what’s so great about Fury,” said the 26-year-old. “He’d been through it all before he became champion. He’d been down in fights and bounced back and shown his heart. That’s the exact route I am going to take.”