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02nd May 2017

Eddie Hearn gives timeline for when we can expect to see Anthony Joshua back in the ring

May not be in the UK, mind

Darragh Murphy

The days of watching Anthony Joshua hone his craft in the professional arena every other month are long gone.

As if often the case with young pros, Joshua fought as frequently as possible on his way to the top, competing seven times in 2014, five times in 2015 and three times last year.

But having solidified his status as one of the world’s top heavyweights by wresting the torch from the clutches of old lion, Wladimir Klitschko, with an 11th round TKO on Saturday night, Joshua is going to reduce his workload to two fights a year from here on out.

Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed the new plan for the most marketable charge on his roster in an interview with talkSPORT on Monday.

“He wants another eight to ten years in the sport and it almost feels like he has had that legacy-defining fight on Saturday, but there is such a long way to go,” Hearn said.

“We are only going to box twice a year now because the fights are so huge and the camps are so long.”

Hearn also admitted that the fight that everyone is calling for, an all-British showdown with Tyson Fury, is miles away because Fury’s fitness and current lack of a boxing licence could delay that bout’s realisation for some time.

If the Fury fight is not to be just yet, there is no shortage of options for ‘AJ’ as he has the likes of WBC kingpin Deontay Wilder and WBO champion Joseph Parker eager for a payday opposite boxing’s newest poster boy.

Also on the table is another match-up with Klitschko, who maintained that he had a clause entitling him to an immediate rematch in his contract despite claims from the International Boxing Federation that they were unaware of such a stipulation.

After revealing when we can expect to see Joshua in action again, Hearn claimed that a rematch with Klitschko needn’t necessarily take place in the United Kingdom if that is indeed the direction that the 27-year-old chooses to go.

“It will soon be time to go global,” Hearn told Gareth A. Davies of the Telegraph. “Even if we do fight Klitschko again it doesn’t have to be in the UK. It could be but again that might be a fight that suits Madison Square Garden.

“The reaction from America was massive from this. I think Josh will box next in October or November.

“We are not really in a tearing rush. American broadcasters would love to see the rematch. You would have big numbers, big TV deals, big gate, big sponsorship so while Klitschko doesn’t need the money, you now have the chance to fight Joshua again and get more money.

“The main thing is to cement the position with the belts, tie up various longer term deals with the broadcasters and see which of those deals and governments want to pay money to see Anthony box there – countries such as Nigeria, China, the Middle East. Matchroom has already staged snooker tournaments there and has relationships in the right places.”