Wilder, Ortiz, Wallin & Joyce

Via Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn said Anthony Joshua gave him his four-boxer list of potential picks for his next bout in May or June after learning that IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will not be available to face him in their contract rematch.

Usyk is still bound to defend Ukraine from the Russian invasion, and he will not be free to fight Joshua. Hearn said that he spoke to his promoter Alex Krassyuk and received official word from him regarding Usyk’s readiness.

According to Hearn, he believes Joshua’s number one pick for his next bout is former WBC champion Deontay Wilder. However, 36-year-old Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) is on a streak of knock-out losses to Tyson Fury, and he’s not sure if he wants to continue his career.

Assuming Hearn can get Wilder to agree to fight, Joshua needs to think twice before making this choice. Joshua must have known that when fighting a dangerous puncher like Wilder, he would risk fighting Usyk and potentially the rest of his career.

While it may seem to some boxing fans that Wilder is completely shot after two losses to Fury, he is still very dangerous and capable of KO Joshua.

The shots Fury gets hit by Wilder in their three skirmishes will likely cause Joshua to lose sleep to the point where even a long count won’t save him.

Wilder recently said in an interim that he wants to take a mental journey to decide if he wants to keep fighting. After everything Wilder went through in his two fights with Fury, his views on boxing were changed, seeing the dry side of the sport.

If Hearn can’t get Wilder to agree to a fight with Joshua, he will have no problem pitting one of the other three fighters on AJ’s roster against him in May or June.

Fighting Joshua is like hitting the lottery for boxers, and aside from Wilder, he can fight anyone he wants without worrying about being rejected.

“I think Joshua talked about Ortiz or Wallina Southpaw would make more sense, Joe Joyce, and AJ said about Deontay Wilder,” Eddie Hearn told iFL TV about Joshua’s temporary rival.

Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder boxing photo and news image

“I think if you asked AJ right now ‘what’s your top pick?’ I think he’s going to Deontay Wilder. It was a big war. It’s not a temporary war, let’s be honest. It could be a bigger fight than Oleksandr Usyk.

“He is not afraid to fight these people. He would rather fight [these people]. He’s all about background, legacy, challenge,” Hearn said.

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