Anthony Joshua should face Daniel Dubois next in a clash that would ‘sell out anywhere’, claims Frank Warren – who believes the former world champion’s bout with Deontay Wilder ‘won’t happen’.
Joshua and Wilder have already agreed terms on a blockbuster bout, which was expected to take place in Saudi Arabia, but complications with the country’s boxing management company has plunged it into doubt.
AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn exclusive revealed to Mail Sport that he was still awaiting the contract for Joshua vs Wilder and that he may have to explore alternate venues and opponents – with former rival Andy Ruiz and Filip Hrgovic also in the running.
And Warren has claimed the fight will not come to fruition and instead wants Joshua and his team to consider a huge all-British showdown against Dubois following his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua was also beaten by Usyk last year and is looking to rebuild himself and get back into world title contenion.
Anthony Joshua’s fight against Deontay Wilder ‘will not happen’, claims Frank Warren
The Queensbury chief has urged Joshua to set up an all-British clash with Daniel Dubois
‘The Deontay Wilder & Anthony Joshua situation, I know their people had conversations and thought that it would happen, but I never thought it would happen, and it’s not,’ he told iFL TV.
‘The problem is, the amount of money they felt they were going to get paid or they heard they were going to get paid, they’re not going to achieve that anywhere. That’s not going to happen.
‘What we’re hearing from Matchroom is every other week or every two weeks, they were going to announce it. We are now hitting mid-December. It ain’t going to happen.
I’ll tell you a good fight if that doesn’t happen. You know what would be a good fight in the UK and people would buy tickets to watch it and we’ll see who is the biggest puncher and who has got the biggest heart? Him [Joshua] and Daniel Dubois.
Dubois has just come off a loss to Oleksandr Usyk – despite dropping him with a contentious shot that was controversially ruled as a low blow
‘That would sell out anywhere. Before you start your hate, that would determine who has got the biggest heart, who would grit their teeth. You can’t say it’s not going to sell. It would sell. It’s a big fight.’
It comes after Hearn revealed his frustration with delays to getting Joshua vs Wilder off the ground.
Speaking to Mail Sport, Hearn said: ‘We’ve agreed terms for that fight, we have agreed the money. We have agreed everything. What we haven’t got is the contract.
‘There is a change in terms of boxing politics in Saudi Arabia. The people that we have worked with for a number of years, who told us the fight is done, have left so that might not be the case now. But, I guess the strategy will be assed by them.
Eddie Hearn (pictured above) says Matchroom are still waiting on the contract for Joshua ‘s Saudi Arabian clash with Wilder
‘As I understand it, they still want to do AJ vs Wilder. They also want to do AJ vs Usyk. Do they want to do AJ vs Fury? I have no idea. But, we are in for that fight but at the same time, we aren’t going to wait forever.
‘We will see what happens over the next couple of weeks. There is a good chance that AJ will fight in December if he doesn’t fight Wilder in January.
‘We are now looking at alternative venues for that fight as well just in case as previously we were told the fight was done. It’s a massive fight whether that’s in Saudi, whether that’s in Abu Dhabi or whether that’s in Vegas or Wembley.’
Hearn finished by saying: ‘It’s a massive fight. I do expect it to happen. AJ wants to keep active and there is a chance he will fight in December.