Anthony Joshua’s route back? ‘I’ll start throwing Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois at AJ,’ says promoter Frank Warren
Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois are positioned to be the mandatory challengers for Oleksandr Usyk's world titles; but with Usyk expected to go straight into an undisputed championship fight with Tyson Fury next year, their promoter Frank Warren has encouraged Anthony Joshua to take them on
Anthony Joshua is now not expected to return to the ring until 2023, with rising British heavyweights Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois being offered as exciting opponents for the former champion.
Joshua has suffered two consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk and will now be looking to work his way back into the world title picture.
Frank Warren has suggested either Joyce or Dubois – he promotes both – would be an ideal opponent.
Joyce is highly ranked by the WBO and holds its ‘interim’ heavyweight title, while Dubois is similarly well positioned with the WBA after winning that sanctioning body’s ‘regular’ belt. Both would provide dangerous opposition for Joshua but also a route back to a world title shot.
“Now I’m going to be able to start throwing Daniel Dubois at him and Joe,” Frank Warren said.
“If he don’t fight one of them I think they’ll find it hard to sell anything and he can’t say, ‘Why should I do that?’. I’ll tell you why, he’ll become a mandatory.”
He added of Joshua: “He’s liable to get knocked over by anybody. I’d put any of my guys in with him. Any of them. Joe Joyce would knock him out and Dubois would do the same.”
If Usyk, the IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight champion, does not have a unification fight with WBC titlist Tyson Fury next, to retain all his titles he would have to box one of his mandatory challengers instead. Warren would expect that to be Joyce or Dubois.
“We’ve worked very hard over the last few years on this heavyweight scene and we’ve guided our guys in different organisations and we’ve boxed it off a bit so I’m pleased,” Warren said.
“Joe done extremely well [against Joseph Parker], got great reviews back from America because his fight done big numbers over there. It was a good fight to watch. He’s set himself up. Him and Tyson [Fury] will be a huge fight, [Deontay] Wilder will be a huge fight, AJ.
“He’ll be out in February. He’s in a real good spot.”
The promoter does believe Usyk will take the undisputed clash with Fury in early 2023, potentially in late February or March next year. He has also encouraged the Ukrainian to attend Fury’s title defence against Derek Chisora in December.
“We were all on the same page to get it done [before]. That’s where we were all going with it. He pulled out [unable to box this year]. It’s a big fight, we all want it,” Warren explained.
“He’ll go straight to it. He can’t have a warm-up. If he doesn’t fight Tyson we’ll be pushing for the mandatories – we’ve got two of them.”