Eddie Hearn has announced he is looking to line up a world tour for Anthony Joshua as the former world heavyweight champion hopes to return to form.
Oleksandr Usyk defeated Joshua at the Jeddah Super Dome in Saudi Arabia, with the Ukrainian retaining his WBA (Super), WBO, IBO and IBF world titles in front of 30,000 fans. He also took home the Ring Magazine title after it was vacated by Tyson Fury following his sudden retirement.
In a clash billed as the Rage on the Red Sea, Joshua showed aggressiveness but could not match the strategic wiliness of Usyk, who is unbeaten in his 20 professional contests. Two judges scored the fight 115-113 and 116-112 to Usyk, while the third gave it to Joshua 115-113.
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Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, plans for the Brit to fight in multiple bouts across the world following successive defeats to Usyk. The 32-year-old has fought abroad just three times since he turned pro in 2013.
Joshua was knocked out by Andy Ruiz in the United States in June 2019, before reclaiming the WBA, WBO and IBF titles in Saudi Arabia six months later. After two bouts in England, Joshua was defeated once again in the Gulf nation last month.
Matchroom boss Hearn believes the world is Joshua’s oyster as he holds no world titles. Speaking on iFL TV, Hearn said: “The amount of times we had mandatories put on us and not being able to make fights we wanted to make or the dates we wanted to make.
“And now that's the most exciting thing about moving forward, now he can be in charge of his own career, his own destiny. We can fight who we want, where we want, when we want.
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“Be as active as we want, whilst building up to get AJ a shot at the heavyweight title again. And that should be the most exciting thing for his career now, a chance to actually be active and build a schedule.
“I want to build a world tour. I want to see AJ fight in London, in Beijing, in Australia, in the Middle East, in America. And it's going to be a lot of fun. I think he's really going to fall in love with the sport again.”
Hearn was then quizzed on potential opponents, and the 43-year-old suggested Dillian Whyte is on Joshua’s radar. In their December 2015 epic, Joshua knocked out his compatriot in the seventh round with a huge uppercut.
Hearn added: “The fight that I want, the fight that he wants, is Dillian Whyte. It's not going to happen [in his first fight back] in December, but it's a massive stadium fight next year. The first one was epic, the second one will be even better.”
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