ANTHONY JOSHUA’s next fight is unlikely to match his knockout victory over Wladimir Klitschko for sheer gun-slinging.
Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko in a stunning 11th-round stoppage at Wembley Stadium to become unified heavyweight champion.
At least, the boxer himself does not want to have to get up off the canvas as he did against the former world champion. “I don’t want to be in fights like the war with Wladimir Klitschko but, if I have to, I know that I will come out on top,” Joshua said in an interview.
The 27-year-old also reiterated his desire to dominate the division and not shy away from any fights – so is this how his next couple of years could pan out in his quest to unify the heavyweight class if AJ continues to remain unbeaten?
Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko II
“If Wlad wants it, no problem,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“If Wlad doesn’t want it, it probably won’t happen.”
Klitschko appears keen on a rematch although he admitted in the ring that he would need to work out why he lost in the first place.
Anthony Joshua v Luis Ortiz
Luis Ortiz was named the mandatory challenger for the winner of Joshua v Klitschko and there is little doubt that he will be a testing opponent.
The Cuban is a former WBA interim heavyweight title holder and is unbeaten in 29 professional fights.
He fought in the UK for the first time last year on the Joshua v Molina undercard showing he is willing to travel and will provide terrific entertainment against the champion.
Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury
Seconds after Klitschko was stopped, Fury took to Twitter to call out Joshua.
The 28-year-old, who beat the Ukrainian in 2015 before vacating the belts, is back in training in Spain and looks likely to be given the world title shot against AJ.
The champ has said he is more than willing to face the controversial boxer and the prospect of the two facing off in Sky’s traditional December show-stopper spot is a mouth-watering one.
Dillian Whyte tested Anthony Joshua two years ago and wants another chance.
Anthony Joshua v Dillian Whyte
Even before the Klitschko fight, Whyte was gunning for a rematch with Joshua.
The two were both unbeaten when they faced off in December 2015 for the British title but it was Whyte who took his first defeat by a seventh-round knockout.
However, he was the first man to take Joshua past the third round and genuinely troubled the 2012 Olympic champion.
Whyte will fight No 9 ranked WBC challenger Mariusz Wach, who sparred with Joshua in recent weeks, on June 4 and assuming he comes through that, he can rightly ask for a rematch in 2018.
Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder
The heavyweight division is heating up nicely but one man who has been accused of failing to come to the party is WBC world champion Deontay Wilder.
The American was ringside in London and there is no doubt that Joshua wants to get in the ring with him, as he will likely have to do to unify the division.
Since becoming champion in 2015, Wilder has not fought outside the US and it is possible Joshua may have to cross the pond to chase the fight.
However, the draw of fighting the double world champion might be too much for the unbeaten 31-year-old to resist.