Anthony Joshua’s 2023 outlined by Eddie Hearn with Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder fight ‘nailed on’

Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has outlined the ‘ultimate 2023’ for his fighter, as “AJ” looks to build towards a world title shot.

Joshua last fought in August, suffering a second straight decision defeat by Oleksandr Usyk in failing to regain the heavyweight titles that he lost to the unbeaten Ukrainian in 2021.

The Briton, 33, has since been linked with a comeback fight against old foe Dillian Whyte, whom he lost to as an amateur but knocked out in a 2015 professional bout, though fans are keen on seeing Joshua face Deontay Wilder.

Hearn told the DAZN Boxing Show on Monday (2 January): “Anthony Joshua [is] in the works to announce that first slate of 2023 [...] He’ll be pretty much ready to go with an announcement in a week or so.

“We pretty much know his date. We’re down to three or four opponents that we’re talking to. Obviously, [there are] rumours of his new training team, and there will be a full announcement from Joshua on that.

“The plan now is to rebuild him to become a three-time heavyweight world champion, and the trainer will want to take the appropriate steps to do that.

“It’s all very well being brave, listening to Twitter, going out and fighting Deontay Wilder [next] and doing this and doing that, but there has to be a plan – a smart plan.

“A smart plan is he wants to return against a top-15 guy in a credible fight, and return in the summer against probably Dillian Whyte, and then move forward against Wilder or Tyson Fury in a mega-fight in the ultimate 2023.”

After Joshua’s most recent loss to Usyk, the Briton was briefly linked with compatriot Fury, but the pair could not agree terms for a winter clash. Fury instead defended the WBC heavyweight title against Derek Chisora, stopping the veteran late to secure a third win over the 39-year-old.

Fury, 34, is expected to fight Usyk next, with the unbeaten pair in line to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion. While Usyk, 35, holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight belts, Fury is WBC champion.