Anthony Joshua’s next fight pushed back to 2023 as AJ opts not to rush comeback from Oleksandr Usyk defeat after Tyson Fury talks collapsed
Anthony Joshua will now not make his return to the boxing ring until 2023.
Britain’s former two-time unified heavyweight world champion was beaten for the second time by Oleksandr Usyk back in August.
Following this defeat, AJ vowed to make a quick comeback and targeted a date of December 17 for his next fight.
However, when the opportunity arose to face Tyson Fury on December 3, he accepted the WBC champion’s terms and directed his team to finalise the showdown.
Unfortunately, talks collapsed at contract stages and Fury will now instead face Derek Chisora in a trilogy fight on December 3, live on talkSPORT.
As a result, AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn has now confirmed that his return will not take place this year.
Hearn told FightHub: “Joshua will be back very early next year now and I wanna see him get active.”
Discussing the Fury talks, Hearn added: “It was never ideal coming off the Usyk defeat to fight Fury so quickly, but Joshua wanted to do it.
“The problem was Fury talks a lot on social media, he makes unrealistic demands for deadlines, ‘Sign the contract today.’
“And I knew that he was always gonna fight [Chisora]. Don’t forget that when he was negotiating with Joshua, he was also negotiating with Chisora.
“When they told us, ‘The contract must be signed today,’ it was three weeks later that the Chisora fight got signed.
“There was no need for a deadline, so I don’t know what to believe, but what I do know is that the communication was good with his team and we hope that eventually in 2023 that fight can get made.
“Chisora got the opportunity, so good luck to him.”