Eddie Hearn, Anthony Joshua’s promoter, has stated that the next time the boxer competes, the future of Anthony Joshua’s career will be on the line.
AJ is preparing a comeback for April after suffering consecutive losses and losing his heavyweight world belts against Oleksandr Usyk.
The first step will be a return bout on April 1 at London’s O2 Arena against an unnamed “credible opponent.”
Hearn said on iFL TV, “This is the most exciting I’ve been on Anthony Joshua’s journey because I think it’s exciting.
“You go into that fight in April – you know that with defeat, it’s all over, really. It would be a third back-to-back defeat.
“And yet a great performance and a showreel knockout get everyone saying, ‘We’re back, we’re back, baby.’
“That’s what I can’t wait for because I love it when our backs are against the wall.
“That’s the best moments and this is one of those moments for AJ.”
If Joshua is successful on April 1, he will return for a second, more critical bout in July.
Hearn continued: “AJ wants a big fight in the summer.
“The one that makes sense and the one that should be pretty straightforward to make is the rematch with Dillian Whyte.
“We’re open to a Deontay Wilder fight; we’re open to a Tyson Fury fight.
“But yeah, with AJ fighting in April and Dillian probably fighting around the same time, that would lead them to a big all-British heavyweight fight in the summer. That’s what I’d like to do.
“AJ wants to be in the biggest fights possible, and if a bigger fight rears its head – there are only two bigger fights in the division than Dillian Whyte, that’s Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
“If they appear somehow, 100 per cent willing to look at those as well.
Despite what Hearn claims, Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott believes the British fighter is trying to avoid a showdown with the Bronze Bomber.
“At one time, it looked like we’re getting ready to get a Deontay-AJ fight made, then you hear AJ and his team want to do other things.
“It seems like he’s ducking all my heavyweights.
“You have got to fight one of my heavyweights, man; we’re waiting on you over here.
“You’re ducking Deontay Wilder.”