Anthony Joshua next fight: Heavyweight title defence set to be confirmed – Who could he face? When will it be?

Anthony Joshua got his revenge on Andy Ruiz Jr in stunning style in Saudi Arabia and has returned to the top of the heavyweight division.

Six months on from his shock defeat to the Mexican in New York, Joshua produced a boxing masterclass in Diriyah to reclaim the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO titles.

Anthony Joshua is now a two-time heavyweight champion of the world
Mark Robinson | Matchroom Boxing

AJ controlled the bout from start to finish and landed a number of eye-catching blows in a near punch-perfect performance.

He said: “I know I could have done more at times but sometimes simplicity is genius. That was the motto. Keep it simple as it will lead to a genius performance.

“It was outclassing a champion and proving to myself every time I step in the ring, if I prepare myself, I don’t think anyone is going to beat me.

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“The belts have spent some time with me, some time with Andy. I think the belts realise they want to be around my waist. I am champion until the next time I go out as champions don’t live forever. All of the challengers are hungry.”

The win has saved Joshua’s career at the top of his sport, taking his record to 23 and one from his 24 pro fights to date.

Now all eyes will be on what he decides to do next and where his career will go in what should be a thrilling 2020.

Anthony Joshua get revenge over Andy Ruiz Jr to reclaim the heavyweight titles

Anthony Joshua next fight: When is he returning and who is he facing?

Joshua looks set to face IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev next with a clash against WBO No1 challenger Oleksandr Usyk held off until later in 2020.

Following AJ’s win against Ruiz Jr, the Brit was immediately confronted with TWO mandatory challengers.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested Ukrainian southpaw Usyk will be made to wait, with IBF mandatory Pulev the likely next opponent.

Hearn told ESPN: “He certainly doesn’t want to let [go of the titles] in the ring, or out of the ring.

“The IBF seems to be the one that was certainly ordered first. But I’ll need to speak to (IBF president) Daryl Peoples, I’ll need to speak to ‘Paco’ (head of the WBO).

“(Joshua) certainly wants to make sure he can keep every belt. So that’s what we’ll be trying to do.”

Further down the line, the heavyweight champ is certainly not short of options.

Ruiz Jr demanded a trilogy clash following his defeat in Diriyah while Dillian Whyte, who won on the undercard on December 7, is keen for another shot at AJ after losing to him in 2015.

The much-demanded unification bout against Deontay Wilder could happen later in 2020 while an all-England bout with Tyson Fury is on the cards as well.

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