Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza believes that a first fight in the United States is a real priority for Anthony Joshua as the unified world heavyweight champion plots his next move in the aftermath of a truly epic victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
Already IBF title-holder courtesy of last year's evisceration of Charles Martin and subsequent successful defences against Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina, 2012 Olympic gold medallist Joshua added the WBA (Super) and IBO belts to his collection on Saturday (29 April) by sealing a dramatic 11th-round stoppage in front of a post-war record crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in London.
Focus has now quickly shifted to identifying Joshua's next opponent, with the affable Londoner immediately targeting a high-profile all-British affair against controversial former champion Tyson Fury.
The likes of WBO champion Joseph Parker and WBC counterpart Deontay Wilder have been mentioned as candidates for another unification clash, while Kubrat Pulev and Luis Ortiz are currently positioned as mandatory challengers for the IBF and WBA straps respectively. It also remains to be seen if Klitschko will choose to exercise a clause entitling him to a swift rematch.
All 19 of Joshua's consecutive professional victories to date have come in the UK, although, with his popularity at home long since assured, it seems as if the 27-year-old will now look to establish a similar reputation across the Atlantic having signed a multi-fight deal with US TV network Showtime in May 2016.
"In our discussions with both [promoter] Eddie Hearn and Anthony, coming to America is definitely a priority," Espinoza told Sky Sports. "I believe he is going to take a little bit of time off after this fight. Whether there is a rematch or not, remains to be seen, but I know that having a fight in the US, in the next couple of fights, is definitely a priority."
On a potential meeting with the similarly undefeated Bronze Bomber, who was present at ringside for Joshua vs Klitschko and served alongside Carl Froch as a pundit, Espinoza added: "Ultimately from the US perspective, the ultimate destination would seem to be – at some point in the next year – hopefully Joshua versus Wilder.
"The question really would be when to do it? When would be an appropriate time to let it build and to allow the marketing and visibility of the fight to continue to build? In terms of wanting the fight, I have no doubt that both Deontay and AJ want that fight to happen in the near future."
Espinoza went on to state that it would make sense from a marketing angle for Joshua to engage in a couple of tune-up fights before Wilder in order to become more of a household name in America, although alternatively, as a boxing fan, he questioned why the duo could not go to head-to-head soon with the fight almost a foregone conclusion.
Joshua's victory over a formidable fighter who once reigned supreme over boxing's historically most glamorous division for a decade catapulted him further on a path to superstardom that Barry Hearn believes could see him become the world's first billionaire pugilist. The Matchroom chief also claims his charge's pulling power with regard to attracting new fans is comparable to the effect Tiger Woods once had in golf.
"All sports need flag-bearers," he said. "The Joshua effect is very similar to the Tiger Woods effect in golf, where people who are not so interested suddenly become interested, where young people become aspirational to follow in someone's footsteps."