Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua announces date, venue for next fight along with shortlist of...

Anthony Joshua announces date, venue for next fight along with shortlist of opponents

Anthony Joshua. Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Anthony Joshua’s next opponent will come from the Matchroom Boxing versus Queensberry Promotions ‘5v5’ card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on June 1, it has been revealed.

The fight being planned for September will mark a return to England for Joshua, who has boxed his last two bouts in Saudi Arabia.

The ‘5v5’ card will feature two important heavyweight clashes. Former WBC champion Deontay Wilder 43-3-1 (42) will meet Zhilei Zhang 26-2-1 (21), while Filip Hrgovic 17-0 (14) will clash with Daniel Dubois 20-2 (19).

According to former two-time unified heavyweight champion Joshua 28-3 (25), His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority if Saudi Arabia, will select one of the winners from those two fights based on who he believes delivers the best performance.

“Whenever they tell me there’s a date, you know I’ll be ready 100 per cent. It’s gonna be in London, Wembley Stadium,” the 34-year-old Joshua from Watford, England told talkSPORT.

“This is what I’m being told. If that’s what they say, they normally back their word so let’s go with that. Wembley, September 20 or 21.

“On June 1 in Saudi Arabia they’ve got the 5 vs 5 card. You’ve got Filip Hrgovic versus Daniel Dubois and you’ve got Zhilei Zhang versus Deontay Wilder.

“So providing one of those looks good – the one who looks the best, His Excellency Turki Alalshikh said to me, ‘I want you to fight [him].’

“What he says is, ‘In the future I want people to look back at your record and say that you took on the best.’ I said, ‘now you’re speaking my language.’

“So out of that pool, I believe that’s who I’m gonna be fighting, one of those. We’re on the same page and he’s on the same page as the fans as well.”

Joshua has built a strong working relationship with His Excellency across his last two fights that resulted in knockout victories over Francis Ngannou and Otto Wallin.

The next big heavyweight fight in Saudi Arabia takes place in three weeks time when WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) and WBC titleholder Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) clash for the undisputed championship.

Joshua ultimately wants to face British rival Fury, 35, but realises he may have to wait until next year for that dream to come to fruition.

“He’s trying to deliver what the fans want, I know they want that big fight with Tyson Fury and he’s working on it,” Joshua said.

“But Fury’s got his obligations with Oleksandr Usyk so I’ve gotta make sure I stay focused and disciplined, keep steamrolling through opponents so I can get closer and closer to having the opportunity of me versus Tyson Fury.”

Joshua added: “I pray that he does his thing, I pray that Zhang does his thing. Whichever one looks good and whichever one His Excellency wants, I’m ready.”