THE clamour is already starting for Anthony Joshua, the new IBF heavyweight champion, to take on Tyson Fury, the holder of WBO and WBA titles and the man who dethroned division number one Wladimir Klitschko.
The two rivals might lock horns outside of the ring first. Tyson Fury has announced that his rematch with Klitschko will take place on July 9 in Manchester, televised on BoxNation. The same date that had been envisaged for Joshua’s next outing. Promoter Eddie Hearn even suggested hold Anthony’s next fight could be at Wembley Stadium. It means the two heavyweight stars could go head-to-head in a ratings war.
“They probably knew we were going to go on July 9. You’ve got two options. You could either say, ‘Okay, we’ll go up against you and see who’s better, bigger and more powerful.’ Or you can say, ‘We’ll have a think and maybe it’s best if they’re on separate dates,’ which is probably a sensible thing to do,” Hearn said. “We don’t really choose the dates. We’re told what dates work on a pay-per-view and July 9 was the date that worked and that’s why they’re going on July 9, they [BoxNation] are not going on July 9 just because they know we were going to. They know that’s the date without any football and I’d be gutted if we didn’t go on July 9 and then in three weeks or four weeks time, Klitschko’s got an injury and the fights off. We’re talking about Wembley stadium, does Josh in a voluntary defence with a strong card do Wembley Stadium? It felt like that fight [on Saturday] night could have done Wembley stadium because that was a challenge for a world title.”
An alternative date for Joshua’s first title defence would be June 25 at the O2 once again. “I was going to do [George] Groves-[Martin] Murray on that day, but now I’m going to probably do that on the undercard of Joshua and [Chris] Eubank’s sniffing around, he was there last night,” Hearn said. “I know he missed it [the O2].
“You never really want to go the week after a big fight. You want to go the week before a big fight. But again July 16 is an option, I’d rather go June 25… That would mean he’d have a week off and he’d have to go back into camp. He’s going to have so much to do over the next couple of days I’d like him to have a week on holiday. It’s not really the fight, it’s the camp. He trained really hard for 11 weeks for that camp, well over 100 rounds of sparring. He’s a perfectionist.”