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Anthony Joshua: Eddie Hearn picks out three possible US-based opponents for IBF champion

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Eddie Hearn sat down with Andy Burton to reveal his plans for the summer

Eddie Hearn has revealed a three-man shortlist of US-based fighters as he considers opponents for Anthony Joshua's first defence of the IBF title.

Joshua claimed the IBF heavyweight belt with a second round stoppage of Charles Martin this month and plans are already in motion for his next fight, which is likely to be staged at The O2 on June 25.

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Anthony Joshua thinks fighting Tyson Fury would be easier than a bout against David Haye.

Promoter Hearn is hoping to build Joshua's profile in the United States and has named a trio of possible foes: former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1-KO21), Eric Molina (25-3-KO19) and Dominic Breazeale (17-0-KO15).

"The IBF put out their new rankings today and we have to box someone in the top 15 of those rankings," Hearn told Sky Sports.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 10:  Bermane Stiverne (C) referee Jack Reiss (L) and promoter Don King pose for photos after Stiverne defeated Chris Arreola in their
Image: Bermane Stiverne briefly held the WBC belt after stopping Chris Arreola

"We expect from those rankings the likes of Bermane Stiverne, Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale. Those kind of people will be in the mix. There has been big interest from US broadcasters in Anthony Joshua. I think a US opponent makes sense for us.

"He wants to go in with a real test and a bigger test than what he has been facing so far. The likes of those guys will provide that opportunity.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 17:  Eric Molina has his arm raised by referee Russell Mora after beating Raphael Zumbano in a heavyweight fight at the MGM Grand G
Image: Eric Molina troubled WBC king Deontay Wilder before being halted in the ninth round

"Stiverne is a solid fighter. Eric Molina is just coming off a big win against Tomasz Adamek, a good fighter, went 10 rounds with Deontay Wilder and rocked him in the fight as well. Breazeale is dangerous, 17-0, 15 knockouts, 6ft 8in Olympian, so these are real guys and he wants a real fight."

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Dominic Breazeale
Image: Dominic Breazeale is yet to suffer a defeat since turning professional

If Joshua retains his belt, Hearn has suggested he could seek a world title unification clash against WBA and WBO champion Tyson Fury, who tops the list of British targets. 

We feel like Tyson Fury is a much easier fight than David Haye.
Eddie Hearn

"I think the next fight after June 25 could be Tyson Fury," said Hearn. "David Haye is a big fight. There is no real carrot with a David Haye fight, other than it's a huge fight with a load of money to be made.

"I think AJ wants the belts, he wants to unify the division. To do that, you have to beat Tyson Fury. We feel like Tyson Fury is a much easier fight than David Haye."

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