Promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed approaches for star Matchroom client Anthony Joshua to fight across the globe. The powerful 2012 Olympic gold medalist returns to his spiritual home at London's O2 Arena on Saturday night (25 June) to provide the first defence of the IBF heavyweight world title he won with a second-round knockout of underwhelming Charles Martin in April.
Joshua faces more opposition from across the Atlantic in unbeaten 30-year-old Dominic "Trouble" Breazeale and such a bout, which he is expected to win easily with the 17th consecutive knockout of his fledgling professional career, represents the first of a new multi-fight deal with American cable network Showtime.
Explaining the rationale behind that agreement, Hearn told IBTimes UK: "Obviously it's important to us to make sure that we get him some American exposure. The Charles Martin fight was on Showtime as well.
"We went and spoke to broadcasters, we listened to their plans, we heard their numbers and we decided to move forward with Stephen Espinoza and Showtime. So this is the first fight of the official new deal."
That lucrative contract with Showtime has made it almost certain that Joshua will fight in America at some stage, with Espinoza recently claiming to be "optimistic" over staging a contest between him and WBC champion Deontay Wilder within the next 12-18 months.
"Possibly," Hearn replied when asked if taking his charge to the US was inevitable. "I mean, if you do that, you are leaving a lot of revenue behind here. So the plan in America is to turn Joshua into a pay-per-view fighter, as he is here. It's easier said than done and that's done through showcasing him on the network and probably boxing in America at some point.
"That won't come until 2017, but we've had approaches from Africa, the Far East, United Arab Emirates for Joshua to box. So I think you are going to see him boxing around the world, but we do have a huge amount of revenue here to protect as well so it's a difficult decision."