Anthony Joshua is targeting a future meeting with undefeated American Deontay Wilder as the British heavyweight continues to plot his march to the summit of global boxing. The Olympic champion disposed of Gary Cornish in 97 seconds in London at the weekend and will face another unbeaten boxer, Londoner Dillian Whyte, on 12 December for the British title, but Joshua's ambitions extend far beyond his next fight.
The newly crowned Commonwealth champion made short work of Cornish at London's O2 Arena, putting the Scot down twice in the opening round before the bout was stopped. The victory represented Joshua's 14th career win, all of which have come via knock-out and within three rounds.
Earlier in the evening Whyte stopped Brian Minto and the pair will face off in the English capital later in the year, with the winner in line for a meeting with European champion Erkan Teper.
"My ambition is a bit higher than Dillian Whyte," Joshua admitted. "I'm going to deal with that boy and then I can achieve what I want to do. With me, the more time I have in boxing the more relaxed and better I get and the less I get hit the better. If I get smashed up by these guys now then I'm not going to step up a fight the likes of Deontay Wilder.
"Teper is no different from guys I've fought so far. By the time that fight comes up I will be in a good place so it will not be too awkward to fight. Commonwealth, British, European and then world and then you have achieved what you set out to achieve."
Joshua's rising profile has seen him linked with some high-profile potential opponents, with former heavyweight champion David Haye having expressed an interest in a comeback fight at Wembley Stadium. But Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn says Joshua's route to stardom does not include a meeting with the 34-year-old Haye.
"Every world governing body is looking at [Joshua] and they are all desperate for him to fight their belt. Whenever we want to fight for the title it will happen," Hearn said. "I would like him to fight Teper for the European title in March and then for the world title in the summer. I would love him to do more rounds. We thought Kevin Johnson was the guy but he was lucky to get through the first round. It's perfection what you are seeing.
"It's the simplest path I've seen. Nothing can stop him except beating himself and that's not going to happen because he works too hard. He could be a complete a***hole but he isn't, his feet are firmly on the ground and he lives with his mum. David Haye talks about fighting but he wants the right payday to come back. I've had a couple conversations with David. He's a sharp guy and he knows the size of the fight with Anthony. It's one of the toughest fights out there for Anthony but we're looking at him winning world titles so he doesn't need to go through David Haye to get them."