AFTER stopping Matt Skelton in two rounds at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, heavyweight Anthony Joshua knows what the next moves will be. Next he boxes the 16-7 (14) Yaroslav Zavorotnyi, who went 10 rounds with David Price, at the National Stadium in Dublin on August 30 and then Michael Sprott, 42-22 (17) at the O2 in London on October 11. After that his promoter, Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn is eyeing an event for Joshua in his Watford hometown before the year is out. He could return to Watford for a stadium fight in the summer of 2015.
“I think once you beat the likes of Skelton, Zavorotnyi, Sprott, it all depends on who’s got the [British] title and how easy it is to make. If it’s a [Sam] Sexton or [Ian] Lewison then he’s ready now. Realistically I think the loser of [Dereck] Chisora or [Tyson] Fury towards the end of the year is a good fight for him. I think Skelton was the perfect fight, Zavorotnyi’s the perfect fight, Sprott’s the perfect fight and then evaluate probably after October 11 and then he’ll be 10-0, that will be a nice time to progress. We want to do something in Watford in his home town towards the end of the year, maybe around Christmas time and then hopefully the British title in Vicarage Road, summer 2015 will be a nice time to do it,” said Eddie Hearn.
“These are my ideas and my dreams, not to get in his head at the moment. He’s [got to take] one fight at a time, keep learning, keep doing exactly what he’s doing.”
After boxing in Cardiff, Glasgow and at Wembley Stadium this year, Joshua received a loud reception from the crowd in Liverpool. “We’ve been around Cardiff, Scotland, Liverpool, London, Dublin next. It’ll be good to have another reception in Dublin,” Anthony said.
Hearn added, “People are excited to see him and I want to take him to cities where they’re a little bit starved of boxing. Dublin’s a great example. The reception he’ll get in Dublin will be unbelievable.”
Joshua’s pro record stands at 7-0 with all those wins coming inside the distance and he dealt with Skelton in impressive style. “He came in good shape. He had notice as well,” Anthony said. “These are the type of fights that I’m looking for now, fighters that are going to come, know the game, know the ring.
“In the amateurs as well I was inexperienced, I used to get roughed up a lot anyway. I was inexperienced fighting world class fighters. I expected that from Matt. I kind of had to improve on the inside as an amateur. So I’ve got some skills on the inside. If I could take away his strengths, which were his inside work by pushing him back, that was mind-boggling for him.
“I can’t display a lot of my skills in two rounds. It’ll come. Zavorotnyi, he’s quite game, quite tough as well. So it’ll be interesting to see how many rounds that goes… As my career unfolds and keeps going on, you’ll see more of me. This is early days so there’s a lot more to come.”