Anthony Joshua made up for his shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. back in June by defeating the American in Saudi Arabia to reclaim the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles. Joshua outboxed the champion to win by unanimous decision to reclaim the titles he lost six months ago. In a stacked heavyweight division, there are plenty of potential fights for AJ to take next. We’ve taken a look at who the champion could defend his belts against at some point in 2020.
Oleksandr Usyk has made the transition to heavyweight on the back of dominating the cruiserweight division. He’d be a dangerous opponent for Joshua but it would be a fight that people would certainly pay to watch. The WBO have made Usyk a mandatory challenger which means Joshua needs to make a fight with the Ukrainian within 180 days or else, he’ll have to give up his WBO belt.
With it being 1-1 in terms of wins between Joshua and Ruiz, a rematch could be a good idea to finally put this mini-feud to bed, although AJ’s win was so comprehensive that there might not be an appetite for a third instalment.
We thought we were getting it after Joshua beat Joseph Parker, in 2018 but maybe now will be the time for Wilder and AJ to set up a division unifying fight. Wilder holds the WBC heavyweight title and fans across the globe will want to see a fight for all of the major belts. The Bronze Bomber has never lost any of his 43 fights and he would provide a huge test for Joshua.
Tyson Fury is keen to get back in the ring with Wilder, after the pair fought to a draw back in December 2018. However, TV deals and money are always an issue and if Fury can’t agree a deal with Wilder, then a big money-spinning fight with Joshua would be something that would draw huge interest, both in Britain and across the globe.
Since his loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, Kubrat Pulev has won eight consecutive fights to climb up the rankings. He was actually meant to fight Joshua in 2017 but had to pull out after picking up an injury. Pulev is probably the most likely opponent for Joshua whilst Fury and Wilder have their rematch.
Dillian Whyte is supposed to get a WBC title shot down the line, but with Wilder eyeing other fights, Whyte needs to keep busy. He beat Mariusz Wach, albeit rather unconvincingly, on the undercard to Ruiz vs. Joshua and he’d love another crack at AJ after rocking the Olympic gold medalist the last time they fought.
The 35-year-old is fresh off a stoppage victories against Senad Gashi, Artur Szpilka and David Price and is now dreaming of one final shot at becoming a world champion.
Jarrell Miller was meant to box AJ in 2019 but he failed a drugs test in the build-up to the fight. Maybe now, the pair could finally get it on.
Ortiz suffered a defeat at the hands of Deontay Wilder last month but he boxed very well but got caught by Wilder’s devastating right hand. He would be a good test for Joshua.
Daniel Dubois is qucikly climbing the ranks of the heavyweight division and looks destined to become a world champion in the future. It might be a bit early for him to fight AJ but if offered a world title fight, very few boxers would turn such an opportunity down.
Poland’s Adam Kownacki is ranked in the top five by the WBO, WBA and IBF so he’s got a legitimate chance to get a title shot. He’s won all 20 of his professional fights so far, with 15 of those wins coming by way of knockout.
After back-to-back losses to AJ and Whyte, New Zealand’s Joseph Parker has won his last two fights and is still ranked in the world’s top ten. He gave Joshua a run for his money last time out and would love the chance to fight in a rematch.