Who are the likely opponents to face Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium on April 13th?

Anthony Joshua

Written by Adam McGroarty (@AdamMcGroarty1)

Tyson Fury

After ‘The Gypsy King’s’ heroics in 2015 against Wladimir Klitschko, he took a three-year period away from boxing. However, following his return to the ring in June 2018 he has had two successful victories and believes he is back to the peak of his powers.

The 30-year-old has leaped at a deal to fight against WBC Champion Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas on December 1st. Fury, ranked fifth in the heavyweight division, is confident in his abilities and assures that he will come out on top in just under two-months time.

Fury said at the LA press conference: “there isn’t a man born from his mother that Tyson Fury is afraid of, and especially not a man who wears pigtails every day. I don’t fear anything about him; I don’t fear anything he can do.”

Although the Englishman has not been mentioned by Joshua as his priority at this time, he has still spoken of his desire after the Povetkin fight to share the ring with Fury. With Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn reluctant to wax-lyrical over Fury’s fighting style: “he is the most unentertaining fighter I have ever seen”, it will still attract the fans and will also be a test for the unbeaten Joshua, with Fury having an advantage in reach and height.

How does his record compare to Joshua’s?

Anthony Joshua: Fights (22), Wins (22), KOs (21, 95%), Defeats (0), Draws (0)

Tyson Fury: Fights (27), Wins (27), KOs (19, 70%), Defeats (0), Draws (0)

Deontay Wilder

The fight that everyone wants to see. The fight that was nearly made a year ago, but talks broke down between the two teams.

The American heavyweight is unbeaten in 40 fights, with 39 KO victories. In his most recent bout he defeated Luis Oritz inside ten rounds by a TKO in March to retain his WBC title belt. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ is set to face Tyson Fury on December 1st in Las Vegas, however the build up to that heavyweight clash has not prevented the media from asking Wilder about a potential future fight with the Heavyweight Champion of the World, Joshua.

Wilder said: “there is no bigger fight than myself and Anthony Joshua.” Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn also said: “Wilder against Joshua is the biggest fight in world boxing and stylistically it’s the best matchup you could possibly have.”

This is the fight that the world is demanding – Joshua holds the WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles, and it is Deontay Wilder who holds the WBC title that Joshua is on the hunt for.

However, I feel that Eddie Hearn is in no rush to secure the golden deal that will spark fireworks on April 13th. If Joshua fights and beats Wilder, at the age of 28 and with plenty more years left to box, where does he turn to? Every other heavyweight after a victory against Wilder will be branded as ‘disappointing’ and the fans will feel let down after such a great fight.

Of course, there is the option to take AJ over to America for a rematch between the heavyweight titans, and with Matchroom Boxing striking a billion-dollar deal with DAZN for American broadcasting, Hearn will be looking for his boxing empire to grow and there is nothing better for that than to take boxing’s biggest name away from home. However, the main thing that Hearn knows about AJ is that wherever he turns up, thousands of fans will turn up too.

How does his record compare to Joshua’s?

Anthony Joshua: Fights (22), Wins (22), KOs (21, 95%), Defeats (0), Draws (0)

Deontay Wilder: Fights (40), Wins (39), KOs (39, 98%), Defeats (0), Draws (0)

Dillian Whyte

If a contract with Wilder’s team cannot be reached, this fight seems the most sensible to me.

Whyte had known Joshua from the amateur ranks of boxing, the pair even fought in the amateurs and it was Whyte who come out on top. However, at the O2 Arena on the 12th December 2015 it was a different story. A young and hungry Joshua KO’d the wild and vexed Whyte in the seventh round after an entertaining contest which saw Joshua gain a lot of respect from fight fans all over the world.

The knockout was brutal and the bitter rivalry has been brewing ever since, with the pair coming face to face on numerous occasions after the fight, most recently at Wembley after Joshua beat Povetkin last month where he said: “if Dillian wants to fight me in this ring, he is more than welcome to.”

For me, if a deal can’t be reached with Wilder’s team this is still a fight that is capable of selling out Wembley Stadium and capturing worldwide interest. ‘The Body Snatcher’ has a good record consisting of 24 victories (17 KOs), yet his only defeat was against the man in question, Anthony Joshua.

Joshua has the longer reach and is two inches taller than Whyte, but nonetheless this will be a war in the ring between the two rivals. Whyte is rumoured to be fighting in London in December, with Oritz and Chisora the most likely opponents, so it will be interesting to hear who he wants in the post-fight press conference.

How does his record compare to Joshua’s?

Anthony Joshua: Fights (22), Wins (22), KOs (21, 95%), Defeats (0), Draws (0)

Dillian Whyte: Fights (25), Wins (24), KOs (17, 68%), Defeats (1 – TKO), Draws (0)

Jarrell Miller

This is a potential opponent for AJ that has been talked about for sometime, however many people don’t know about the ‘Big Baby’ Miller and the threat that he could cause Joshua. Fighting out of Brooklyn USA, Miller has had 22 victories (with 19 KOs) and only one draw from 2013, a perfect undefeated record. At 30 years old, two years older than Joshua, Miller most recently beat Tomasz Adamek on 6th October with a KO inside just two rounds. The American’s physique is one that is comparable to Dillian Whyte, with a smaller reach and height than Joshua, however the ‘Big Baby’ can definitely take a hard punch. Miller has been crying out to promoter Greg Cohen for a ‘big shot’ at a first world title after being ranked fourth in the heavyweight division ahead of the likes of Tyson Fury and Joseph Parker, and although this fight may not spark a huge public interest, an opponent such as Jarrell Miller promises to drag Joshua into a brutal battle under the Wembley arch.

How does his record compare to Joshua’s?

Anthony Joshua: Fights (22), Wins (22), KOs (21, 95%), Defeats (0), Draws (0)

Jarrell Miller: Fights (23), Wins (22), KOs (19, 83%), Defeats (0), Draws (1 – PTS)

NAME Anthony Joshua Tyson Fury Deontay Wilder Dillian Whyte Jarrell Miller
AGE 28 30 32 30 30
WEIGHT 113kg 117kg 103kg 117kg 128kg
HEIGHT 6’ 6” (198cm) 6’ 9” (206cm) 6’ 7” (201cm) 6’ 4” (193cm) 6’ 4” (193cm)
REACH 82” (208cm) 85” (216cm) 83” (211cm) 78” (198cm) 78” (198cm)
ROUNDS 84 160 123 122 85
Heavyweight Ranking 1st 5th 2nd 6th 4th

(3rd place is Joshua’s most recent opponent, Alexander Povetkin)