ANTHONY JOSHUA and his promoter Eddie Hearn have been urged to announce the heavyweight champion’s next fight as soon as possible by potential opponent Dillian Whyte.
By Adam Powers
Joshua last fought on September 22 at Wembley Stadium, stopping mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin in the seventh round.
After that fight attention turned to April 13 on which date the WBA, IBF and WBO champion would next defend his belts, Hearn revealed.
Fifteen weeks later, it is still no clearer who AJ’s next opponent will be.
Hearn has expressed his desire for WBC champion Deontay Wilder to occupy the right side of the main event billing in what would be the first undisputed heavyweight world title fight on British shores.
What am I gonna do, sit around and wait? No, I need to know what’s going on
Both champions’ camps engaged in talks during the summer but could not come to an agreement, and it feels like deja vu with Wilder’s camp ostensibly given Hearn the cold shoulder this time round.
Wilder will most likely rematch Tyson Fury, who he retained his titles against on December 1 courtesy of a controversial split decision draw.
That means Whyte, who is the No 1-ranked challenger with the WBO and WBC, is the “frontrunner” to trade blows with AJ on April 13, three-and-a-half years after losing to his old adversary at British level.
The Body Snatcher, who is also promoted by Hearn, is coming off the back of a brutal knockout win over Dereck Chisora on December 22 and has warned Joshua and his team that they best announce his next opponent soon.
Speaking to iFL TV, the Brixton boxer said: “I don’t know what’s going on, I expected him and his team or Eddie Hearn to at least contact me.
“I’m not meeting Eddie until another two weeks or something, so I don’t know what’s going on.
“That’s not enough time to prepare for a fight like that. You need to know what’s going on so you start preparing from now.”
Hearn has said he will have to announce Joshua’s next opponent by the end of January, but Whyte was not happy with that deadline.
“I need to know what I’m doing now, why at the end of this month?” he said.
“What am I gonna do, sit around and wait? No, I need to know what’s going on so I can start preparing.
“These kind of fights, you need to prepare three, four months for. You need to know what you’re doing in advance and do proper drug testing.”
Anthony Joshua defeated Dillian Whyte convincingly in 2015 (Image: Getty)
A longsome part of agreeing the fight may be the fighters’ split, and Whyte made clear that he would not be undervalued in that aspect.
“I am sensible, I know what value I bring to the fight,” the 30-year-old said.
“As long as they are sensible then the fight can happen. I’m not a mug. I’ve worked hard to get where I’ve got to, and I’ve grafted and got my way up.”