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Eddie Hearn names three potential next opponents for Anthony Joshua - ‘Absolutely colossal’

Matchroom Boxing supremo Eddie Hearn has picked out three potential next opponents for Anthony Joshua.

The former two-time world heavyweight champion fought three times in 2023 and he finished the year with a statement win over Otto Wallin. 

Being Joshua’s first southpaw opponent since Oleksandr Usyk, Wallin was tipped to trouble Joshua after he cut and arguably should have beat Tyson Fury in September 2019. 

But Joshua rolled back the years as he produced a vicious performance on the Day of Reckoning card in Saudi Arabia on December 23 to dismantle his opponent. 

After landing heavy on Wallin to leave his opponent bloody and bruised, Joshua forced the Swede to retire on his stool at the end of the fifth round.

The initial plan was for Joshua to fight Deontay Wilder next, but this is back off the table after ‘The Bronze Bomber’ lost comfortably on points against Joseph Parker. 

Instead, Hearn has picked out Filip Hrgovic, Francis Ngannou and Zhilei Zhang as possible opponents for Joshua. 

“Right now, we have three fights that were in discussions for they're all big.” Hearn told iFL TV.

“'And that doesn’t involve Deontay Wilder. Before March our aim, and we’ve discussed this, is to fight the winner of Fury versus Usyk. That is all we want to do.'

“Obviously there’s a [Filip] Hrgovic fight out there for the world heavyweight title; there’s a Francis Ngannou fight out there which would be absolutely colossal. 

“There’s other heavyweights as well, the [Zhilei] Zhang fight possibly as well with Queensbury.”

Following his loss to Joshua, Wallin admitted the Brit was “just better” as he gave him a “much tougher fight than the one with Fury”. 

“I really have no excuses,” Wallin told Boxing News. “He was just better, I think. He did really well. He used his reach well. He hit me with some really good shots. Yeah, he was just better, I think.

“He hit me with some good body shots. I’m always ready for that, but I think they had a good game plan. I think maybe, 

“I haven’t watched the fight, but… it was a much tougher fight than the one I had with Fury. He did really well. Maybe he has found his home with Ben Davison, I don’t know.”

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