Triple Threat: Eddie Hearn's Three-Fight Plan To Revive Anthony Joshua

AJ's comeback can be accomplished in three fights, says Matchroom chairman Hearn
17:00, 03 Jan 2023

Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn has mapped out Anthony Joshua’s road to heavyweight redemption. With the former two-time unified heavyweight champion currently riding a two-fight losing streak, having been handed back-to-back losses by Oleksandr Usyk. AJ’s promoter has preached the importance of a measured rebuild for his man, as he looks to reposition the 33-year-old for a title shot.

Hearn’s three-point plan starts with a fight against a member of the world top 15. We don’t know which specific ranking will be used to select this opponent. Tyson Fury’s team recently stretched credibility to breaking point, using the BoxRec rankings to justify Derek Chisora as a heavyweight title challenger.


Whoever is first up for the Olympic gold medalist, they are likely to be a significant underdog. Joshua has lost three of his last five fights and cannot afford another defeat at this delicate stage. At the age of 33, a rebuild is there if he wants it. But take on too much too soon and a loss would be career-ending. 

If and when Joshua comes through his ring return against a top 15 opponent, Dillian Whyte is currently pencilled in as his next opponent. The pair of old amateur rivals contested an exciting pro contest in 2015, with Whyte hurting AJ before being stopped in the seventh round. This fight would make a lot of sense for both men. 

Touted as a stadium attraction, the proposed all-British affair would financially reward both men handsomely. Meanwhile, Whyte has precious few other avenues. Having lost his long-awaited title shot to Tyson Fury last April, and flattered to deceive in a controversial win over Jermaine Franklin, there isn’t a wealth of big fights available. A money-spinning sequel with Joshua suits all involved.

If AJ can go 2-0 from these comeback bouts, he will get a true test of his mettle. Hearn says he is targeting either Fury or Deontay Wilder for his man before the end of the year. Either of these fights would be magnificent. Whether it be the long-awaited battle of Britain with ‘The Gypsy King’ or a proper shootout with ‘The Bronze Bomber’; either bout would be worthy of the hype.


But would these fights be right for Joshua? They’d be difficult, sure. Nobody has ever defeated Fury while Wilder has only lost to the WBC champion. Wilder’s punch power is unlike anything AJ has faced in his career, but then the same could be said of Joshua’s own whack and Deontay’s ability to take it. AJ definitely hits harder than Fury after all. There is a robust argument to be made that Joshua would be the best fighter Wilder has faced outside of ‘The Gypsy King’.

Fury would be the trickier of the two, but would also carry the greatest reward. It remains to be seen whether the WBC champion puts his money where his mouth is in an undisputed title fight with Usyk. But, whatever happens, chances are the Mancunian would be taking at least one world title belt into any bout with AJ. If the Watford man can find a way to win, he would equal Muhammad Ali as a three-time heavyweight champion of the world. Only Evander Holyfield, the four-time heavyweight king, has held the title more.

Hearn and AJ’s 2023 plan is fundamentally sound. Three good fights, three good paydays and a path back to the heavyweight crown. It’s up to Joshua what he does with the opportunity of course. But as comebacks go, this one would be right up there with the best.

aj 11/4 to beat fury*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.