Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed a three-man shortlist of US-based fighters as he considers opponents for Anthony Joshua’s first defence of the IBF title.
Joshua claimed the IBF heavyweight belt with a second round stoppage of Charles Martin this month and plans are already in motion for his next fight, which is likely to be staged at The O2 on June 25.Promoter Hearn is hoping to build Joshua’s profile in the United States and has named a trio of possible foes: former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1-KO21), Eric Molina (25-3-KO19) and Dominic Breazeale (17-0-KO15).According to Eddie Hearn “The IBF put out their new rankings today and we have to box someone in the top 15 of those rankings”.
“We expect from those rankings the likes of Bermane Stiverne, Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale. Those kind of people will be in the mix. There has been big interest from US broadcasters in Anthony Joshua. I think a US opponent makes sense for us.He wants to go in with a real test and a bigger test than what he has been facing so far. The likes of those guys will provide that opportunity”.Stiverne is a solid fighter. Eric Molina is just coming off a big win against Tomasz Adamek, a good fighter, went 10 rounds with Deontay Wilder and rocked him in the fight as well. Breazeale is dangerous, 17-0, 15 knockouts, 6ft 8in Olympian, so these are real guys and he wants a real fight”.
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If Joshua wins his next bout, Eddie Hearn insists they will seek a world title unification clash against WBA and WBO champion Tyson Fury, who tops the list of British targets. “I think the next fight after June 25 could be Tyson Fury,” said Hearn. “David Haye is a big fight. There is no real carrot with a David Haye fight, other than it’s a huge fight with a load of money to be made.I think AJ wants the belts, he wants to unify the division. To do that, you have to beat Tyson Fury. We feel like Tyson Fury is a much easier fight than David Haye”.