Friday, May 25, 2018  |


Anthony Joshua awaits Klitschko decision

Photo: Showtime/ Esther Lin


One can imagine Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn being perpetually attached to his cellphone.

Ever since Anthony Joshua’s stunning 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko, the demand for a lucrative matchup with the IBF and WBA heavyweight titleholder has been positively overwhelming.

A Klitschko sequel, mandatory challengers, eager contenders – both foreign and domestic – and the list goes on.

“We have a mandatory challenger in Kubrat Pulev for the IBF. We have a situation with Wladimir Klitschko, where we would like to make that fight again,” revealed Hearn in an interview with Sky Sports in the U.K.

“Fans and broadcasters would like to do that fight again and Wladimir is currently on holiday for two weeks and he will make a decision on his return. If that’s a fight that Wladimir wants, I feel like that will be next for Anthony Joshua.”

Joshua (19-0, 19 knockouts) also has a WBA mandatory obligation in the shape of unbeaten Cuban Luis Ortiz but potential opponents are coming out of the ceiling.

“Of course there are other big fights outside of his mandatories,” said Hearn. “The two champions: Joseph Parker we just saw defend his (IBF) world title (and WBC titleholder) Deontay Wilder.

“We have got a six, eight, 10-year plan with Anthony Joshua, so people are talking about all these superfights now. We want them, but we have also got to realize there is a long way to go.”

Taking on all-comers doesn’t seem to be a problem, it’s more the order they will come in.

Hearn said, “We have to box off these mandatories and the aim is to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, to collect all those belts.

“To do it we are going to be very smart. We’re going to have to do a lot of maneuvering around and he is going to have to do a lot of winning in the ring.”





Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for and a member of THE RING ratings panel.  Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing




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  • Expatriot American in Europe

    Wait till he get KO’d in one of his early defenses of the belts…

    • ROSS

      Aj is good but to carry on to say how great etc is getting a little far ahead. He needs to work on his defence and keep his mind together with the stardem that goes with being a champion. I wouldnt be at all surprised if he gets beat in the next 18 months then see if he can return as a better fighter?

    • Orca

      That very well could happen but that’s not the point. The heavyweight division is alive for the first time in a long time. He still has a bit of work to do but it’s going to be a fun ride win lose or draw.

      • Expatriot American in Europe

        AJ has not revived the division, Fury has, and it was Klitschko that kept it alive for a decade. So I repeat, wait till AJ gets KO’d in one of his early defenses of the belts and he loses again trying to come back. Then you can enjoy the lively HW division, win lose or draw.

        • Orca

          I think it’s a disgrace the way Fury was treated after winning the title. He went into Klits backyard and beat him fair and square. There was no pats on the back from the British media, no homecoming parade….nothing. But, for now, he has work to do outside the ring. The momentum has been lost and we have no idea what kind of Fury will return, if he does. I’ll be right behind him if he laces up again.

          The fact of the matter is Joshua ticks a lot of the boxes that people like to see in a heavyweight champion. Not to mention the fight with Klit that caught the worlds attention. Like it or not, that fight has put the big guys back on the map and that’s a good thing for boxing. AJ may well lose in his next few fights, it doesn’t really matter. As long as the big guys fight each other and put on exciting scraps, boxing wins.

          I disagree that Klit kept the division alive. There is a reason that a lot of fans, media, general public were turned off by the heavy’s and a lot of that comes down to Klit. For such a powerful, big, athletic, skilled fighter like him to have fought the way he did is the primary reason. The majority of his fights were non events outside of Germany for a reason. His stats will bring him into conversations on the best ever but his performances certainly will not. Joshua and Wilder etc, despite their apparent flaws, use their physical abilities to at least entertain. Joshua, in particular, seems eager to take on all comers and have a tear up. So, I repeat, win lose or draw….it’s going to be a fun ride. Which part of the Klit era would you describe as fun?

          • Andy T

            Fury may not of got the credit he deserved from the British media but a fighter like Joshua comes along only now and again he has captured the fans imagination, takes on all comers and knocks them out that is why the fans have taken to him. IMO he is already bigger than the belts and I for one is going to enjoy the ride as I did following Tyson. 🙂

          • Orca

            Totally agree Andy. He has completely caught the imagination of the fans and soon to be fans…..and that’s great for boxing.

          • Expatriot American in Europe

            Fury was born an outsider, as Irish Traveler he is among those that are treated very poorly in the UK. He also has some substance-abuse and mental health issues which have limited his ability and discipline. I also hope he comes back.
            Klitschko won consistently, if that’s not good enough for you, OK. And what about his opponents, what was missing there? Yes, he was boring, he was too careful, he was disappointing to some, but he stayed on top as the second-longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time, and has the second-most successful title defenses total of any heavyweight boxer with 23. He dominates the conversation until someone matches up. Of course, fans want something else. They lack the knowledge and perspective….

          • Orca

            What knowledge and perspective do I lack? No, it wasn’t good enough for me. There has to be a modicum of entertainment in boxing. If there wasn’t , we wouldn’t be here discussing it. I don’t care for his stats. The most impressive thing about his reign was that he stayed mentally focused for all those title fights. A better fighter than him, Lennox Lewis, came unstuck against Rachman by switching off and losing discipline. So yeah, I give him serious props for that. It’s not easy to stay switched on and in shape for all those fights. He certainly doesn’t dominate the conversation of who was the greatest. He’s not even close man. The Klit that fought AJ and the Klit before he became ‘the man’….I could get behind that guy. The guy that held on for dear life against infinitely inferior, smaller opponents…well, I’m glad he’s gone.

          • Expatriot American in Europe

            Said the fans lack the knowledge and perspective, but if you felt attacked, sorry.
            Enjoy AJ while he lasts…

          • Orca

            I’ll enjoy any fighter that’s willing to lay it all on the line. I’ll enjoy AJ while he fights. He won’t always win but he will provide excitement to the best sport in the world. Take it easy 🙂

  • IanF69

    I would really like to see Joshua do this old school….fight your mandatory, keep the belt (if successful) and move on….I know in this day and age of fighting it’s all about the money..but buck the trend big guy…..keep your titles that you fought so hard to get….don’t relinquish just for the bigger ppv events that line Eddie’s pockets…Win a belt..keep it …win another …keep it….Unify,…Be different….Be the undisputed HW Champion of the World

    • Orca

      I think it’s going to be really hard to please all the alphabets. AJ has an advantage in that I’m sure they all want him as their champ but it won’t be easy to hold on to them all. Eventually, if he stays unbeaten, it won’t matter so much. How many mandatories did Floyd take on? I have no idea. If AJ continues this stratospheric rise, he will become way bigger than the belts. Anyway, the man has a lot of work to do and I too would like to see him take on some mandatories for a few fights to work on his game. Despite the first AJ Klit fight being a great fight, I’d rather see the division move on and Klit to retire.

  • william ellis

    Either option is a good one for Joshua. Pulev is a genuine contender, despite the fact that Klitschko beat him handily. Pulev may have improved a little since then too.

  • Rosalino Sanchez Felix

    I’m glad these new generation boxers are going back to short shorts(no homo)

  • Charlie U.

    Why do Brits hate Eddie Hearn?

  • kiowhatta

    I cannot see the point of a Klitschko rematch. Dead Horse. BTW, Parker holds the WBO not the IBF. I imagine most fans would be mostly excited about Ortiz, who has been floating around for too long, calling out names and then fighting cab drivers. Ortiz is the fight – it will be the ultimate litmus test for Ortiz, get him the hell outta the division because he seems full of shit to me.
    AJ is not ready for a unification bout just yet. Parker is still finding his way, Wilder is a cherry picker, so Pulev will probably end up being the sacrificial lamb.