Anthony Joshua’s Wish List
By: Jordan Seward
After a dominant performance against Dominic Breazeale (17-1-15KO) in his first defence of the IBF crown, Anthony Joshua (17-0-17KO) is looking for a sterner test in his next outing.
The IBF titlist has been mandated to face unbeaten New Zealander Joseph Parker (19-0-16KO), before a November deadline, but has hinted at the possibility of a voluntary defence first.
Joshua, 26, attained the IBF world heavyweight title with a 2nd round knockout of ‘Prince’ Charles Martin back in April at the O2 Arena.
The knockout specialist has been touted as the next big thing in boxing but so far, in his professional career he is yet to be tested.
Arguably, the biggest test to date was when Joshua met bitter rival Dillian Whyte in December last year, but now he is eager to show his credentials against stronger opposition.
Bermaine Stiverne (25-2-1-21KO) has been lined up as a next ideal opponent for the IBF king. Stiverne, has openly admitted to being interested in taking the fight and has started a camp for a potential fight with Joshua.
The former WBC world champion was outlined as a good opponent by the Joshua camp for his durability. The American took heavy hitting Deontay Wilder the full distance in January last year, despite eventually losing by unanimous decision.
Stiverne suffered from severe dehydration throughout the fight with Wilder which seemed to effect his performance. ‘B. WARE’ has hit back at claims that he is just durable and has insisted he still has aspirations on becoming a two-time world champion.
The 37-year-old has not been in the ring since his unanimous decision victory over Derric Rossy in November last year. Nonetheless, if a fight between the pair materialises it is believed Stiverne would present the biggest challenge of Joshua’s professional career.
Another potential opponent for Joshua is Eric Molina (25-3-19KO). Molina, like Stiverne was beaten by Wilder in his first defence of the WBC title. The current IBF inter-continental heavyweight champion was seen as an easy first defence for Wilder, but managed to take the fight 9 rounds before being knocked out.
Wilder was heavily criticised for his performance against Molina, but the victory has since looked better after ‘The Drummer Boy’ defeated Polish heavyweight Tomasz Adamek. Molina was in the running to be Joshua’s first defence of the IBF title and remains a possible option.
Kubrat Pulev’s (23-1-0-12KO) name is also on the list of potential opponents. The Bulgarian recently strolled to victory against England’s Dereck Chisora to claim the vacant European heavyweight title.
Although there is no one of real significance that Pulev has got the better of, aside from Tony Thompson, the only blemish on his record is a defeat to Wladimir Klitschko which came back in 2014.
It’s not clear who will become Joshua’s next opponent, but out of the contenders on his wish list Bermane Stiverne has emerged as the most likely. Whoever it is, Stiverne, Pulev or Molina, they would all be a step up in class from Breazeale and give Joshua his first real test.