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Anthony Joshua’s next fight revealed by Eddie Hearn after impressive win over Otto Wallin

‘AJ’ produced a stunning display to force a corner stoppage of Otto Wallin after a disastrous night for Deontay Wilder

Alex Pattle,Jack Rathborn
Sunday 24 December 2023 00:58 GMT
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Anthony Joshua and Otto Wallin face off in Riyadh ahead of fight

Eddie Hearn has revealed Anthony Joshua will fight Filip Hrgovic next after a sensational win against Otto Wallin.

‘AJ’ was excellent across five punishing rounds in Saudi Arabia on the Day of Reckoning card in Riyadh, busting up the Swede’s face and eventually forcing a corner stoppage.

Joshua had signed to fight Deontay Wilder next in a super fight, but the American was stunned by Joseph Parker, dropping a points decision across 12 lacklustre rounds.

And Hearn insists the pursuit of a third world heavyweight title is next for the Briton, with Joshua set to move ahead of Wallin in the IBF’s rankings and a meeting with the Croatian Hrgovic appeals, given his mandatory status for Oleksandr Usyk’s belt.

And with Usyk set to fight Tyson Fury in February, there is a chance one or more of the belts could be made vacant following the fight. This could hand Joshua an immediate shot at a third world title against Hrgovic should Usyk or Fury opt to drop the IBF belt following their fight.

"He's back, he's destroying people in sparring, I believe he's the best heavyweight in the world. It was a punch-perfect performance. He dispatched him,” Hearn told DAZN.

“It was a stunning performance, in this mindset and this team, I think he’s unbeatable.

“2024 will be a massive year for him. It was a tough decision, between the championship and Wilder, we signed for Wilder, he lost, that’s OK. Maybe it’s a blessing. This guy is about championships, he wants to become a three-time world champion. Wallin was No 2. It’ll be Hrgovic vs AJ for the world title. I’m so happy to see him smiling and performing so well.

“He’s a dangerous man in that mood. He’s back.”

Should Usyk or Fury hold onto the belt, then Tony Bellew has floated an alternative option for Joshua next: MMA superstar Francis Ngannou, who came close to upsetting Tyson Fury.

“Of course you could [see Joshua fighting Ngannou next],” Bellew told DAZN. “It would be a mega event, the fight wouldn’t play out how Fury and Ngannou did.

“The Wilder fight is off the table, I imagine Wilder will want to set the record straight against Parker.

“Joshua will want the biggest fight, if not for a world title. The next best thing for Joshua is to secure a mandatory. The winner of Fury vs Usyk will want to fight AJ.

“He won’t want to be labelled a paper champion. He’ll look to a big fight. Is there a bigger fight than Ngannou vs AJ?”

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