Anthony Joshua has three-fight plan including Dillian Whyte and Deontay Wilder

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Anthony Joshua has three-fight plan including Dillian Whyte and Deontay Wilder
Anthony Joshua has three-fight plan including Dillian Whyte and Deontay Wilder

Anthony Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has set out a three-fight plan for the former heavyweight champion to return to world title contention by the end of the year.

The two-time world champion lost his belts in September 2021 to Oleksandr Usyk, and was defeated in their rematch the following August, costing him his spot atop the division. But Hearn is certain that after two fights he will be back in contention for super-fights, and is eyeing up a bout with Deontay Wilder or even Tyson Fury at the end of the year.

Joshua will make his return to the ring against a lesser opponent within the top 15 in April after years of world title defences, before moving on to a summer rematch with Dillian Whyte. The feud between Whyte and Joshua has been brewing for years, with the pair holding a win each over one another after squaring off once at amateur and once as professionals.

“He wants to return to return with a Top 15 guy,” Hearn told The DAZN Boxing Show. “Then in the summer probably versus Dillian Whyte and then a mega-fight with Deontay Wilder. The plan now is to rebuild him to become a three-time heavyweight world champion.

"It's all very well being brave, listening to Twitter, going out and fighting Deontay Wilder. But there has to be a plan, a smart plan. We are down to three or four opponents [for April]. He is ready to start camp and will likely start that camp this week. Honestly, I couldn’t give Anthony Joshua an opponent he will turn down. It’s all about putting together the right training team.”

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Anthony Joshua has three-fight plan including Dillian Whyte and Deontay WilderA fight between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte was teased in November (Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing)

Who do you think Anthony Joshua should fight in his comeback bout? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Joshua was trained by Rob McCracken for the majority of his professional career, but decided after his first loss to Usyk that he would change things up and brought in Robert Garcia. However, that pairing has already been broken up after just one fight and he is now in the process of confirming his coaching set-up.

The Brit's return could see him finally face Wilder after the pair were unable to make an undisputed fight during the height of their careers in 2018. With Tyson Fury out of the picture at the time, Joshua and Wilder held all of the heavyweight belts, but the poor relationship between Hearn and PBC, who promote the American's fights, couldn't be reconciled and they never fought.

However, Joshua has guaranteed that he plans to face Wilder this year, insisting that their previous issues are "the past" and that 2023 is a new beginning. He has also said that he believes Whyte to be a fight with more "swag" than the all-British super-fight that fans have been clamouring for between he and Tyson Fury.

Donagh Corby

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