Dallas, TX, USA (October 19, 2023) - The future of former two-time champion and top heavyweight Anthony Joshua is shrouded in uncertainty. With the much-anticipated fight against Deontay Wilder seemingly stalled or perhaps even off the table for now, Joshua finds himself without a set next opponent. Or does he?
As Joshua patiently awaits news regarding the possibility of challenging for the anticipated-to-be-vacated IBF heavyweight title, following Oleksandr Usyk's widely expected rematch with Tyson Fury instead of facing IBF mandatory contender Filip Hrgovic, there's talk of him engaging in a 'stay-busy' fight in the meantime. What's even more intriguing is the rumor that Joshua might square off against WBA Regular Heavyweight titlist Mahmoud Charr.
Recent reports suggest that the expected match between Charr and Jarrell Miller, ordered by the WBA for reasons only known to them, has fallen apart – a piece of good news for many boxing enthusiasts. However, this positive turn of events could be tainted by the possibility of a Joshua vs. Charr bout.
According to the grapevine, Joshua could indeed opt for a 'stay-busy' fight against Charr. This match might either headline its own show or, in an unusual turn of events, feature on the undercard of the Conor Benn-Chris Eubank Jr. clash slated for December 23.
Frank Smith of Matchroom, speaking with Seconds Out, neither confirmed nor ruled out the possibility of Joshua facing Charr. Smith explained, “Er, he’s been a name that’s been around for a while, you know. There’s a small pool of fights for Anthony Joshua, is the reality – in terms of who he’s already boxed and who is available in the heavyweight division. But let’s see.”
The situation becomes even more complicated due to the ongoing developments with the IBF, Otto Wallin, and the Hrgovic situation. Wallin, like Joshua, is highly ranked by the IBF and might potentially secure a title shot against Hrgovic for the vacant IBF belt.
With all these variables in play, the boxing world eagerly awaits an official announcement, but the one thing many boxing enthusiasts would rather not see is Joshua taking on Charr. Such a bout would be seen as a gross mismatch, and it would undoubtedly provoke a significant backlash from fans.
On another front, it's reported that Joshua has returned to Dallas, Texas for training with coach Derrick James, hinting at a possible December return. Promoter Eddie Hearn, considering the potential postponement of the Wilder fight, suggests that Joshua might have an interim bout in December before a possible showdown in March or April.
This interim fight could be the key to keeping Joshua active while he awaits the chance to face either Wilder or vie for the IBF world heavyweight title.
In a landscape filled with uncertainty, one thing is sure—Anthony Joshua is determined to continue his quest to become heavyweight champion, whether it's against Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, or any other top heavyweight.