Anthony Joshua’s next opponents seem to be clear but who else could he be facing down the line?
Joshua is the reigning WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion. He’s expected to put his gold on the line against Kubrat Pulev on December 12. Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn is hoping to have the bout take place inside the O2 Arena in London, England with fans in attendance.
While many expect Joshua to eventually fight WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury in a title unification bout if all goes well, there’s another surging heavyweight that may grab “AJ’s” attention. Hearn told Metro.co.uk that a showdown between Joshua and Zhang Zhilei down the road is possible.
“Zhang is good, a good amateur background and he’s a big old lump but he’s untested really as a pro,” Hearn said. “But this could be a good example of what we were talking about of moving into other markets. I’d like to do Anthony Joshua vs Zhang at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. That would be huge. Anthony Joshua is a global superstar, sold out at Wembley, sold out in Cardiff, sold out Madison Square Garden, in Saudi Arabia. We want to take him everywhere, and that includes places like China and Africa.”
Zhilei has an unbeaten record of 21-0. He has 16 knockout victories. His last outing took place back on November 30, 2019. He defeated Andriy Rudenko via unanimous decision. Zhilei is likely to be looking for a major title shot soon as he is 37 years old.
Joshua last competed back on December 7, 2019. He defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. in their rematch via unanimous decision. If he defeats Pulev, fight fans will be eager to see the result of Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III. While we’d be one step closer to see the title unification bout if both men win, the WBO plans on enforcing the mandatory status of Oleksandr Usyk.