Newly crowned IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua could header a bumper night of boxing at Wembley Stadium for the first defence of his title on 9 July – the same night as the Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko rematch in Manchester for the WBO and WBA crowns. The unbeaten 26-year-old knocked out Charles Martin at the O2 Arena inside two rounds to claim the title and could be thrust back into action within three months of the biggest night of his professional career.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn has earmarked the second weekend in July as the date for the first defence of Joshua's title, which could see multiple world title fights take place on a card at Wembley – the scene of Carl Froch and George Groves' second super middleweight title clash in the summer of 2014. Joseph Parker and Carlos Takam, both of whom are ranked inside the top 10 in the IBF rankings, face each in an IBF title eliminator on 21 May and could represent the opposition for the Briton.
Should Joshua indeed defend his title on 9 July it would set put him on the same trajectory as Fury – who has called out the Olympic champion in recent weeks – and raise the tantalising proposition of an all-British heavyweight unification fight later in the year. Hearn is planning to get Joshua back in action at the earliest opportunity and that figth could come this summer.
"He's just won the heavyweight championship of the world, it just looks like he's just won a four-rounder," he told Sky Sports after Joshua's dominant win. "This is only the beginning, he's got aspirations to unify all the belts, and he will. We've got a little something planned for 9 July, maybe in a national stadium in Wembley. Get ready for that. He's going to go through everybody."
Adding to Press Association, the Matchroom chief said: "July, it was always going to be the ninth. We'll have to take a look at the [IBF] top 15, a lot of the guys are taken up. If he's ready, I don't see why we can't get back early July. That's the plan.
"That was why Sky turned down the Fury-Klitschko fight (which will be on BoxNation) – they see AJ as the future. The plan would be to build AJ as a pay-per-view fighter in America as well. Wembley's where we were looking to go."
Despite Joshua waltzing his way to a first world title after just 16 fights and less than three years after turning professional, Fury dismissed his performance against the American Martin. "So AJ gets a belt," the Bolton-born boxer said on Twitter. "Looked slow ponderous, & still looked like a bodybuilder, let me slay the lamb."