Wednesday 8 October 2014 15:19, UK
Promoter Eddie Hearn is confident that Anthony Joshua will be ready for a British battle with David Haye by next year.
Watch Anthony Joshua fight Denis Bakhtove for the WBC Internatioanal belt, live from 8.30pm, Saturday, Sky Sports 1 HD.The 24-year-old heavyweight has made impressive progress since making his professional debut just over a year ago, racking up eight straight stoppage wins.
He continues his busy schedule with a clash against experienced Russian Denis Bakhtov at London’s 02 Arena this Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
A future fight against Reading’s Michael Sprott has already been pencilled in for the undercard of Nathan Cleverly’s November rematch with Tony Bellew, and Hearn has ambitious plans for Joshua in 2015.
There are plenty of possible opponents amongst a packed domestic division, but Hearn has set his sights on a potentially explosive match-up with former WBA champion Haye.
The 33-year-old Londoner is expected to end his absence from the ring in the near future and the promoter believes Joshua could face him within 12 months if he stays unbeaten.
“In the world of boxing and particularly in this country, a fight between David Haye and Anthony Joshua in 2015 is a stadium event," said Hearn.
“It’s a huge, huge fight with massive potential and I think again the rate that Anthony is progressing - by the time the winter comes round in 2015 - these are the guys that Anthony is going to be facing.
In the world of boxing and particularly in this country, a fight between David Haye and Anthony Joshua in 2015 is a stadium event
“If he wants to win world titles, these are the guys he has got to demolish on the way and I’m sure that he will demolish these guys as well. I don’t think anything is going to stop him.”
Haye has not fought since he halted Dereck Chisora in 2012, with a string of injuries scuppering his plans for a fight with Tyson Fury and briefly forcing him into retirement.
But he is expected to base himself in America after overcoming a career-threatening shoulder injury and last month expressed his determination to regain a world title.
When asked about facing his British rivals, Joshua said: “I work hard. You have to be confident in your ability. I believe I can compete with these guys at a high level, probably get a win, but is it about competing with these guys in a tough fight, 12 rounds, coming out battered and bruised - or you bide your time?
“When the time is right, these fights will happen. Right now October 11 is my priority and in the future, on a piece of paper, these names are on a tick list down the line and hopefully we can do it at Vicarage Road or Wembley. Somewhere special.”
Liverpudlian David Price, another potential target, has gained the Watford man's attention by suggesting that Hearn would be ‘mad’ to arrange a fight against him.
“That’s stored in the back of your head. It’s motivation isn’t it. When people doubt you, some people use that as fuel and that’s what I do,” he said.
Watch Anthony Joshua fight Denis Bakhtove for the WBC Internatioanal belt, live from 8.30pm, Saturday, Sky Sports 1 HD.