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Hearn Floats Kabayel, Hrgovic, Wallin, Charr as Possible Opponents for Anthony Joshua’s December Fight

Promoted Eddie Hearn has ruled out Deontay Wilder, Andy Ruiz, and Zhilei Zhang as potential opponents for Joshua in December.


London, UK (October 23, 2023) - Promoter Eddie Hearn is already eyeing the next opponent for top heavyweight boxing superstar Anthony Joshua. The Matchroom head has put forth a list of potential candidates, including Agit Kabayel, Filip Hrgovic, and Otto Wallin, for Joshua's upcoming fight, which he is keen to stage in December. However, Hearn also mentioned that Joshua might consider returning to the ring in January.

Anthony Joshua wants to stay active and have three fights by year's end.

Joshua has had a busy year, having fought twice already. He secured a win over Jermaine Franklin earlier in the spring, and then in August, delivered a brutal stoppage against Robert Helenius.

Speaking about the options for Joshua's next fight, Hearn was asked about Mahmoud Charr, the WBA "regular" heavyweight belt holder. Hearn appeared less enthusiastic about this possibility, stating, “Not overly. He’s looking for an opponent. He’s got the WBA regular title, which we certainly wouldn’t be saying Joshua is a three-time heavyweight champion [if he won that belt]. Definitely not. But at the same time, if he’s going to fight someone in December, I’m not saying it will be Charr, but it could be Kabayel. It could be Hrgovic or Wallin out of this situation; let’s see what happens.”

Hearn has ruled out Deontay Wilder, Andy Ruiz, and Zhilei Zhang as potential opponents for Joshua.

Joshua had been in negotiations with Wilder for a significant part of the past year, but those plans took a hit when the original backer, Skill Challenge Entertainment in Saudi Arabia, failed to secure the necessary funds. Nevertheless, Hearn has continued to suggest that a Joshua vs. Wilder bout might materialize next spring.

“It’s not going to be Deontay Wilder, it’s not going to be Andy Ruiz, and it probably won’t be Zhang,” Hearn explained. “So you have to look at that top-15. Honestly, we haven’t really—we’re more [sure] on the date than the opponent. He wants to fight in December. In his head he says he wanted to fight three times in a year. But I said, 'you fought in April.’ He said, 'no, I want to fight three times in 2023.' So he would love to get in in December. And we’ll have to keep one eye on the 23rd (of December) because we just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Hearn added that there’s a 50% chance that Joshua fights in December and a 100% chance that he steps into the ring in January. Boxing enthusiasts will surely be eager to see who Joshua ultimately faces in his quest to further establish himself as a heavyweight legend.

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