JUST like Floyd Mayweather, Anthony Joshua has begun preparations for a fight on September 12 against an unnamed opponent.
The unbeaten heavyweight is back in the gym after his two-round demolition of Kevin Johnson at The O2 in May ready for his next fight in the same venue.
Former world title challengers Marius Wach and Tony Thompson have been mentioned as potential opponents, but Joshua’s trainer Tony Sims told Boxing News there is no confirmation yet, although an announcement is expected tomorrow.
“Anthony started training last week so he’ll have a good 10 weeks of training under his belt. We’re just waiting on Eddie Hearn for news of an opponent,” he said.
Joshua is also set to face countryman Dillian Whyte before the end of the year for the vacant British title but Sims insists the 25-year-old is not treating that fight differently to others, despite the excitement surrounding it.
“Dillian Whyte’s a good fighter, he’s unbeaten. It’s a good fight for Anthony and it will be a big fight for the public with Dillian talking the fight up,” he said.
“Obviously he holds that amateur win over Anthony but that doesn’t mean anything now.
“Anthony just remains the same, he’s the ultimate professional, he remains calm and treats every fight the same.
“He’ll prepare for his fight on September 12 then he’ll prepare for Dillian Whyte and he’s always confident of doing the job.”
While Joshua’s future plans look set, another of Sims’ fighters, John Ryder, has decisions to make after his upset loss to Nick Blackwell in May.
Blackwell stopped Ryder in the seventh round of their British middleweight title clash despite the Islington man having the better of the opening rounds.
Visibly spent after the halfway mark, Ryder is now assessing how well he can still make the middleweight limit of 160lbs, Sims revealed.
“John struggled to make the weight that night, he did his weight wrong and he just wasn’t there. You could see after a few rounds, he was winning comfortably then he just went to pieces,” he said.
“He’s going up to see a top nutritionist next week and spend the day with him and the nutritionist will do all the tests and tell me if John can make middleweight and if he can, then what he’s got to do.
“If he can’t make middleweight he’ll have to contemplate moving up to super-middle, but he’s not really tall enough for it.
“The trouble with John is that he’s very muscular, he’s got massive legs and massive chest plates and unfortunately he’s the wrong sort of shape to be a boxer.”
“It’s a shame because he’s so talented. I thought he’d beat Blackwell easy that night but there was nothing in him after the half way mark. It wasn’t anything to do with Blackwell’s performance, it was more to do with John.”