Anthony Joshua’s next opponent set to be announced TODAY as Eddie Hearn tells boxing fans to ‘stand by’ amid speculation over who could replace Dillian Whyte
- Eddie Hearn has told boxing fans to ‘stand by’, posting a pic of Anthony Joshua
- Much speculation has been building over who Joshua’s next opponent could be
- The news comes as his rematch against Dillian Whyte was cancelled last week
Eddie Hearn has implied that an announcement on Anthony Joshua’s next opponent could be coming on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old was due to meet Dillian Whyte in the ring on August 12. That bout was cancelled after the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) found ‘adverse analytical findings’ in Whyte’s pre-fight drugs test that was carried out before the rematch.
It has left Joshua without an opponent for the upcoming fight, but his promoters, Matchroom Boxing, have been looking for someone else to step into the ring and face the former heavyweight champion at the O2 Arena on Saturday night.
While Whyte has maintained that he will prove his innocence, fans have been speculating over who his replacement could be, with Derek Chisora, Gerald Washington and Demsey McKean all being touted by some as fighters who could face the 33-year-old.
Hearn has returned from his holiday in the Caribbean to find a solution and has now teased boxing fans on Twitter claiming that an update on the situation could be coming on Tuesday.
Eddie Hearn has revealed Anthony Joshua’s (pictured) next opponent could be announced on Tuesday
It comes after his fight against Dillian Whyte (pictured-middle) was cancelled after he failed a drugs test
Joshua (pictured) was scheduled to fight Whyte on Saturday 12 August at the O2 Arena
He posted a picture of Joshua on Twitter with the caption: ‘Update tomorrow morning. Stand by.’
The British fighter would be taking a risk going up against a new opponent at such short notice.
Joshua’s old rival, Andy Ruiz Jr, who notably beat him in 2019, also offered to step in at the last minute.
But according to boxing journalist Dan Rafael on Twitter, multiple heavyweights including Chisora and McKean are in fact not in the running to fight Joshua because they are on the undercard.
He said: ‘Per source, Joshua card will go forward & will move from PPV in UK to part of a regular DAZN sub.
‘I’m not sure who the new opponent is yet but, per source, it isn’t one of the four heavyweights ([Filip]Hrgovic, McKean, Chisora, Washington) already scheduled for the undercard.’
Hearn, meanwhile, was remaining tight-lipped about who the new opponent could be but added that there will be a ‘show on Saturday night’, while also revealing that Joshua was ‘unbelievably calm’ after hearing the news about Whyte’s failed test.
‘I believe that fight will be signed and an announcement made on Monday night or first thing in the morning,’ he said to BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday.
‘The absolute plan is to have a show on Saturday night. It’s a minefield because everyone puts their name in the hat and the credible ones want £10m, a private jet and my left lower limb in the contract.
Derek Chisora (pictured) is unlikely to step in to replace Whyte this weekend
Demsey McKean (pictured) has also had his name thrown into the hat, but is set to miss out on a fight with Joshua
41-year-old American boxer Gerald Washington had been viewed as a frontrunner to face Joshua, but is now set to remain on the undercard instead
‘With a week to go before one of the biggest fights of the year I was shocked and dumbfounded. AJ sent me a message which was unbelievably calm,’ the promoter added.
‘AJ is desperate to fight. He has looked unbelievable in camp. I have never seen him in such good shape.
‘The plan is to get the most credible opponent and someone who can test him for Deontay Wilder.
‘At this point, with such short notice, you need more than one plate spinning because people will try to disrupt things or outprice themselves. We have the guy who we think is the right guy, and others who are waiting as well.’