Joshua vs Pulev: Unification fight planned for Anthony Joshua against Deontay Wilder or Luis Ortiz
By James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 29/09/17 10:23am
Anthony Joshua’s 2018 priority is to unify world titles against the winner of Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz, his promoter Eddie Hearn has explained.
A week after Joshua defends his IBF and WBA 'super' heavyweight belts against Kubrat Pulev on October 28, live on Sky Sports Box Office, Wilder puts his WBC gold on the line against Ortiz.
"We want the winner; simple as that," Hearn told Sky Sports News.
"We'll look at a fight in February or March. That was a key to boxing in October - to box three times next year.
"[Joshua] will have boxed twice this year, next year we'll box February or March, then the summer. If [Joshua vs Wilder or Ortiz] is not February or March it has to be in the summer.
If [Joshua vs Wilder or Ortiz] is not February or March it has to be in the summer.
Promoter Eddie Hearn
"AJ has got a big job on his hands. I think these are the four best heavyweights in the world now - Joshua, Pulev, Wilder and Ortiz."
The four heavyweights have experienced just one defeat in 112 combined fights - Pulev was beaten in his first world title challenge against Wladimir Klitschko three years ago.
"Focus on Pulev," Hearn continued. "People just expect AJ to breeze through fights but Pulev is one of the top heavyweights in the world. If you take your eye off the ball, if you start thinking about the next fight, anything can happen.
"AJ has to look great at the Principality Stadium then we move onto unification fights."
WBO champion Joseph Parker, also unbeaten in 24 fights, has fallen behind as a potential rival for Joshua after out-pointing Hughie Fury last weekend.
"He didn't look good doing it, which diminishes his value," Hearn said. "But he's a belt-holder and a good fighter. Parker has looked average in his last three fights but against the right style, maybe someone like AJ, he could actually look better.
"Parker is definitely on the radar because he has a belt but, really, the radar is the Wilder-Ortiz winner."
Parker's promoter David Higgins told Sky Sports earlier this week: "They'll all want to fight Joe even more now. They will underestimate him, because Hughie is the sort of guy that you'll take the distance.
"Joshua is the sort of fight, a unification fight, that we could look at next year, provided both guys keep winning."
Joshua will defend his IBF and WBA 'super' heavyweight titles against Pulev on October 28 at Cardiff's Principality Stadium, live on Sky Sports Box Office.