Joshua takes on the unbeaten Jarrell Miller in New York on June 1 – and then has a slew of mandatories to face.
Anthony Joshua is set for a busy 18 months as he faces a slew of mandatory challengers.
The heavyweight world champion will fight the unbeaten American Jarrel Miller in New York on June 1. He then hopes to face fellow ruler Deontay Wilder towards the end of the year.
But Wilder rejected an £80million deal which included two fights against the Brit. If an agreement cannot be reached, Joshua will likely face Oleksandr Usyk in the autumn. The Ukranian is set to make his heavyweight debut against Carlos Takam in May having unified the cruiserweight division.
Deontay Wilder has had A LOT to say about Anthony Joshua 👀 pic.twitter.com/rZ5UPfXhyq
— Sport360° (@Sport360) March 20, 2019
Should Joshua defeat his fellow Olympic gold medalist, he would then be required to face IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev.
Pulev was due to challenge Joshua last year but was ruled out of their Cardiff clash through injury and replaced at short notice by Takam. Should Pulev be dispatched next spring, Joshua would then be forced to fight his WBA mandatory later in the year.
That could mean a fight with Wilder – or Tyson Fury – would be pushed back until 2021.
Tick Tock. Tick tock. MSG June 1st 🗓 pic.twitter.com/i1X93oaQca
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) March 28, 2019
Alternatively, Joshua could relinquish one of his belts to avoid facing his mandatory challenger.
But that would reduce the appeal of the fight with Wilder as it would no longer crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn told iFL TV: “We don’t want to vacate one of the titles because we want the undisputed fight.
“I mean, don’t get me wrong, if a title was vacated, we’d still fight Wilder – but it wouldn’t be the undisputed fight. That’s the golden chalice.
“So that’s why we want it to happen in November, December.”