Sunday, 01 April 2018 07:54

Anthony Joshua to face Povetkin, Miller or Jennings next

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Last night, consensus heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KO) defeated Joseph Parker to claim the latter's WBO belt.
Will the new WBA/IBF/WBO champ finally fight his WBC peer, Deontay Wilder, next?
 
Answer: No
 
Simply put, Joshua vs Wilder isn't big enough in the States yet to justify the risk for Joshua/Hearn.
 
At 40-0 with 39 KO, Wilder is too much risk for the reward and would be a massive threat to the champion. Moreover, and unfortunately for Deontay, he doesn't bring a lot to the table financially because he doesn't have a large fan base.
 
So what next for Joshua?
 
Anthony Joshua: Next fight
“Can we get away with one more fight before Wilder? Yes, probably,” Anthony Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, much to the chagrin of some fight fans, told Express Sport.
 
“In America would be the best move, and then we do the Wilder fight. Jarrell Miller, Bryant Jennings - I don’t know.”
 
It would make more sense to introduce Anthony to the American masses, pique Americans' interest and THEN face Wilder when the public demand for that bout in the US is much greater. Heightened interest always equates to increased revenue.
 
Jarrell Miller 20-0, 18 KO
The leading next-fight candidate is Jarrell Miller who is fresh off a good win against former heavyweight powerbroker Mariusz Wach. He boasts a perfect record of 20-0 with 18 KOs but is still green and has some deficiencies so Hearn & Co view Miller as relatively safe option.
 
“We look at potential opponents for Anthony Joshua, particularly in the United States and Jarrell Miller’s at the top of the list, " Hearn chimed in November.
 
Bryant Jennings 22-2, 13 KO
A solid heavyweight, Bryant Jennings has lost to only two fighters - Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz.
 
No shame there...
 
Bryant's fight against Klitschko in New York City in 2015 drew a large audience on HBO, averaging 1.637 million viewers and peaking at 1.742 million per Nielsen Media Research. However, prior to the fight, FightSaga suggested Klitschko vs Jennings ratings would sizzle due to Wlad's then-turbulent relationship with Nashville star Hayden Panettiere who had recently gave birth to their first child as was a hot topic in news.
 
A small heavyweight, Jennings would be a considerable underdog against Joshua but would bring the best out of AJ.
 
Alexander Povetkin 34-1, 24 KO
When top fighters fight on the undercard of other top fighters in the same weight class, it's usually a strong indication they will be paired to face each other.
 
And Povetkin, of course, KO'd David Price on the Joshua vs Parker undercard last night. Featuring him on the card was Hearn's way of familiarizing Joshua's fans to the Russian should Joshua vs Povetkin come to fruition. And it's obvious Hearn thinks Joshua vs Povetkin is a strong possibility.
 
Povetkin certainly isn't Hearn's first choice because a) he'd be a dangerous opponent and b) defeating him would do little to propel Joshua's interest in the U.S.

... But, Alex is the WBA's top contender. 
 
If the sanctioning body makes him Joshua's mandatory opponent, things could get really interesting. Anthony may have no other choice than to fight him.
 
Who do you think AJ will fight next?
 
 

 

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