09 April 2023

Anthony Joshua announces he will not fight again until December

09 April 2023

Anthony Joshua has announced he will not fight again until December – just two days after saying he wanted to get back in the ring in the “next three months”.

Joshua got back to winning ways last weekend by outpointing Jermaine Franklin over 12 rounds at the O2 Arena, the first time the Briton had had his hand raised in almost two and a half years.

The former two-time world heavyweight champion was hopeful of a swift return this summer and was linked with bouts against compatriots Dillian Whyte, a former foe, and Tyson Fury, the WBC champion.

But Joshua said on his Instagram story on Sunday: “My next fight is scheduled for December. Not ideal but everything is part of a bigger picture.”

The 33-year-old had his nose bloodied in the early exchanges in his unanimous decision victory over American opponent Franklin, where he bounced back from back-to-back defeats against Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua, though, told BBC’s One Show on Friday: “It was nine months since I was last in the ring (before fighting Franklin).

“I don’t want to leave it that long again. I want to be back there in the next three months.”

As for which of his rivals he would prefer to face, Joshua was unequivocal after beating Franklin.

“Dillian Whyte or Tyson Fury? Well, 100 per cent Tyson Fury,” Joshua said after the fight.

“That is the pot of gold. That is the WBC heavyweight champion of the world. That’s what it is all about, so definitely Tyson Fury.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox