After a world-class boxing performance Saturday night in Saudi Arabia, Anthony Joshua once again recaptured the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO heavyweight titles. The contest was a one-sided one that showed Joshua winning over Andy Ruiz Jr. by unanimous decision.
So now that he has the belts back, whose is the next man up for Joshua to face?
My hope is that someone sees my page and decides not to give up. Clean hearts win ? pic.twitter.com/yBrHeLq19q
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) December 8, 2019
The most likely opponent set up next is IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. The stipulations they placed in before the rematch with Ruiz was a clause that the winner must have the face the 38-year-old Bulgarian contender.
“In terms of the dates we have been given, the IBF have said you have to fight Pulev by the end of April, while the WBO have given him 180 days,” Hearn said after the fight. “So we have to ask if they will allow this fight first.
The 180 days the WBO gave was recently set in motion Saturday after Joshua won the contest in Saudi Arabia. Their mandatory challenger is Oleksandr Usyk, who is coming off a stoppage victory of Chazz Witherspoon.
Usyk would be the second choice to take on Joshua sometime next year. The biggest obstacle will be in all likelihood an either-or situation between Usyk with Pulev, with Joshua having to vacate the belt of the other.
“To defend them back on home soil, I think would be big news,” Joshua said post fight. “It would be better against another Brit but, if not, I will my mandatory and crack on that way.”