Matchroom Boxing chairman Barry Hearn has identified former WBC world champion Bermane Stiverne as his choice to fight IBF holder Anthony Joshua next.
Joshua (17-0-KO17) took the title with ease from American Charles Martin and then successfully defended it against Martin’s countryman Dominic Breazeale last month.
He is required to begin negotiating a fight with IBF mandatory challenger Joseph Parker (19-0-KO16) by November 9, but it is possible for the Englishman to fit in another bout before facing the New Zealander early next year.
Hearn told Sky Sports: “Parker may well be next but I suspect, probably, Joshua will have another defence prior.
“There’s a whole range of names out there – whether you’re talking Stiverne, Eric Molina. Stiverne is probably my choice because of his credibility.”
Stiverne (25-2-KO21) would on paper provide Joshua’s toughest test to date and could well be the man to take the Olympic gold medallist the distance. Stiverne achieved that feat when dropping his world title to Deontay Wilder, and he remains the only man to have taken ‘The Bronze Bomber’ the distance.
Any potential fight with Stiverne would provide an excellent opportunity to compare Joshua to Wilder, providing some clue as to who would prevail in any potential match-up between those two powerful punchers.
Hearn also revealed that he would like unbeaten Hughie Fury to take on Joshua in the future, with the unbeaten cousin of WBO and WBA champion Tyson Fury yet to significantly step up his competition level.
There are plenty of compelling options out there for Joshua as Matchroom continue to steadily increase the quality of his opposition, with Stiverne standing out as one of the most suitable candidates for the champion’s next fight.by