Boxing promoter and director of Matchroom Sport, Eddie Hearn, has revealed who will International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua target following his clash with the legendary Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua was in action recently when he defended his IBF title for a second time and knocked out American Eric Molina in the third round at the Manchester Arena in England on 11 December. Post the fight, Klitschko entered the ring and alongside Hearn announced a clash with Joshua for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) heavyweight titles.
If the Great Britain fighter wins the bout against the Ukrainian, then Hearn believes that Joshua will target another unification world title match, but this time with World Boxing Championship (WBC) champion Deontay Wilder.
"It's a big fight, it's a wonderful fight and could be for four belts. Towards the end of the year, I don't see why not, or certainly early in 2018. Joshua will have between two or three fights a year now, so realistically it could be the back end of this year, or if not, early 2018," Hearn said, as quoted by GiveMeSport.
However, Hearn understands that Bulgarian fighter Kubrat Pulev is the next challenger in line post the Klitschko fight.
"He is the mandatory, so after this fight, we'll have to fight Kubrat Pulev and we'll have to see if we do or not. Obviously we want to keep the IBF world championship, but we'll have to deal with that after April 29."
Twenty-seven-year-old Joshua has enjoyed a rapid rise to the summit of the division and enjoys a 100% winning record, registering 18 knock-out's in as many fights. He recently revealed that he is looking to emulate the dominance of football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, whose longevity at the top is legendary.