AJ Route Might Be Whyte In Summer, Foe TBD in December
LONDON — Anthony Joshua will need a quick turnaround if he expects to achieve his goal for 2023.
In his first fight with new head trainer Derrick James, Joshua outpointed fringe contender Jermaine Franklin over 12 rounds Saturday at O2 Arena in London.
The victory snapped a two-fight losing streak, giving Joshua his first win since December 2020. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist aims to fight three times in 2023, but Eddie Hearn, his promoter of Matchroom Sport, told Boxing Social that he would need to fight again relatively soon for that dream to become a reality.
A rematch with domestic rival Dillian Whyte stands as the most feasible bout for the summer.
“Some fights are there to be made, and you get one chance to do it,” Hearn said. “I think that is potentially the case with [WBC heavyweight champion] Tyson Fury. At the same time, I would still like him to have another fight with Derrick James to improve on what he has been working on. Dillian Whyte is a great fight. He needs to get back in the ring in July [or] August at the latest if he is to get three fights in this year.”
If Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) fights in the summer, Hearn could push for a fight with Fury in December.
“I would like to see him have a little rest, then get straight back to Texas with Derrick and try and have an end-of-summer fight and then try and fight in December. It would be great for his career,” Hearn said.
Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) scored a 2009 amateur win over Joshua, a victory he used to trash talk Joshua repeatedly leading up to their December 2015 showdown for the British heavyweight title. After both fighters had their moments in the early rounds, Joshua ended things in the seventh frame with a devastating right uppercut.