Promoter Frank Warren has encouraged Anthony Joshua to take on two of his rising fighters, but has warned that the former heavyweight champion would be ‘knocked over by anybody’. Warren has already attempted to secure a Battle of Britain bout with Joshua and Tyson Fury, but negotiations fell through and the Gypsy King will instead return to the ring against veteran Derek Chisora in December.
Joshua is now not expected to return to the ring until 2023 after his two consecutive defeats to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk. The 33-year-old will be plotting a route back to a world title fight, and needs to rebuild his career after damaging results against the unified champion Usyk.
While Joshua’s next opponent is unclear, Warren believes Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce – two promising fighters in his promotion stable – would provide the perfect return to the ring for the former champion. But Warren is adamant that Joshua will suffer yet another defeat if he does indeed accept a clash against one of the British heavyweights.
“Now I’m going to be able to start throwing Daniel Dubois at him and Joe,” Frank Warren told Sky Sports. “If he don’t fight one of them I think they’ll find it hard to sell anything and he can’t say, ‘Why should I do that?’. I’ll tell you why, he’ll become a mandatory.”
“He’s liable to get knocked over by anybody. I’d put any of my guys in with him. Any of them. Joe Joyce would knock him out and Dubois would do the same. We’ve worked very hard over the last few years on this heavyweight scene and we’ve guided our guys in different organisations and we’ve boxed it off a bit so I’m pleased.”
Dubois and Joyce are both positioned to be mandatory challengers for undefeated Usyk’s world title belts, therefore offering Joshua another potential future world title shot. Dubois will defend his WBA ‘regular’ title against Kevin Lerena on the undercard of Fury’s clash against Chisora on December 3.
Meanwhile, Joyce has been tipped as a dangerous opponent for Joshua after his impressive knockout victory over Joseph Parker to claim the WBO interim-title.
Joshua is set to be offered both showdowns by Warren and his next bout could define his career. And Warren is convinced that Joyce can go to battle with any elite heavyweight as he prepares for a February return.
“Joe done extremely well [against Joseph Parker], got great reviews back from America because his fight done big numbers over there,” he added. “It was a good fight to watch. He’s set himself up. Him and Tyson [Fury] will be a huge fight, [Deontay] Wilder will be a huge fight, AJ. He’ll be out in February. He’s in a real good spot.”