Anthony Joshua next fight suggested by Sky Sports pundit as British superstar facing ‘difficult situation’

Anthony Joshua is biding his time for a shot at the winner of that Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk blockbuster, but who will he fight in the meantime?

AJ (28-3) is back at the peak of his powers after reeling off four straight wins since those damaging back-to-back losses at the hands of Usyk back in 2021 and 2022.

Joshua is also looking completely revitalised under new head trainer Ben Davison, with two blistering wins over Otto Wallin and Francis Ngannou to kick off their partnership.

READ MORE: Bob Arum on Jared Anderson legal issues as exciting ‘Big Baby’ prepares for key test

With Fury and Usyk meeting in Riyadh on May 18 – and potentially then engaging in an immediate rematch – AJ will have to wait a little while for his shot at the thing he craves most – the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.

Attention now is on who he will face next, with the potential for a massive homecoming fight at Wembley Stadium in September already mooted.

Names like IBF mandatory contender Filip Hrgovic and another British star Daniel Dubois have been mooted, but respected Sky Sports pundit Andy Clarke has a different option that he believes could be the logical choice for AJ, Eddie Hearn and the team.

Next fight for Anthony Joshua?

Speaking to Seconds Out on YouTube, he explained: “I think he’ll want to stay active, because that’s what has brought him this rich vein of form that he’s in now – is basically is being active. It’s the same for Joseph Parker – everybody should look at those two guys and just think, it’s not rocket science, there’s an underlying theme there.

“But it’s tricky isn’t it, because there is a two-way rematch clause for Fury vs Usyk, but then some people suggest that if Fury wins, the Saudis will want to make Fury/AJ straight away, which would make complete sense. You’d imagine they have the firepower to do that in terms of talking to Usyk and saying to him ‘you will 100% get the winner, here’s a nice compensation package for stepping aside.

Anthony Joshua Eddie Hearn Press Conference vs Francis Ngannou Heavyweight Boxing Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Anthony Joshua pictured with promoter Eddie Hearn at the press conference ahead of his heavyweight boxing fight vs Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8, 2024 (Photo – Round n Bout Media/Queensberry Promotions).

“But he might not want to do that, because he might think ‘if Fury beats AJ, he might retire and I’ll never get the chance to level the score’. Boxing’s very unpredictable as we know so that situation might not be very straightforward. Usyk obviously could beat Fury.”

If no Hrgovic, Parker the logical choice

Clarke says he had expected AJ to meet Hrgovic for the vacant IBF title once Fury and Usyk have met for the first time, but reports now suggest the Croat could instead face Dubois on that Hearn vs Frank Warren 5 on 5 card on June 1.

“The Dubois/Hrgovic thing has come as a bit of surprise for me, because I just expected that the way that Joshua would keep busy if Fury and Usyk did rematch would be to box for that IBF title. So that’s come as a bit of a surprise to me.

READ MORE: Heavyweight boxing schedule with all the major upcoming fights previewed

“If that’s not gonna happen, and he needs another fight to keep him active, people will probably try to put him and [Joseph] Parker together as the form guys – because Parker is WBO interim. If there is the rematch [Fury vs Usyk] the IBF will take their belt out but the WBO could as well, you never know. Their history and form would suggest they’d promote their interim champion to full champion and then Joshua would be fighting Parker essentially for the WBO title. It would be something like that maybe – a rematch between those two. I wouldn’t be against that.

“He does find himself potentially in a slightly difficult situation, Anthony.”

Parker right back at the top

Parker (35-3) has of course also enjoyed a renaissance in the last 18 months, winning five fights on the spin since that brutal loss at the hands of Joe Joyce back in September 22. He has pulled off two notable upsets recently – outpointing both Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang.

The Kiwi is now the mandatory WBO contender after the win over Zhang, though the Chinese star did have a one-way rematch clause after that fight.

YouTube video