Anthony Joshua’s next opponent will not be Tyson Fury, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.
Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko in front on 90,000 people at Wembley on Saturday night, stopping him in the 11th round, despite being knocked down in the sixth.
After winning the bout, and adding the WBA and IBO straps to his IBF belt, the 27-year-old immediately called out Fury in the middle of the ring.
He said in the immediate aftermath: “I came out and I won, I didn't go into the slugfest, I came back and fought my heart out. (Tyson) Fury where you at, baby?
“I love fighting. Tyson Fury, I know he's been talking, I want to give 90,000 a chance, I just want to fight.”
Fury is currently in Marbella trying to shed the pounds ahead of a potential comeback, but still has his boxing licence suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) and is the subject of a doping hearing.
As a result, while not ruling Fury out as an opponent in the future, Hearn said he will not be Joshua’s next challenge.
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“Believe me when I say that there is nothing that I or AJ would want more than to see Tyson back in the ring, but it won’t be next – Tyson just won’t be ready,” Hearn said, writing in his Daily Mail column.
“Physically he is not at the races and he has a lot to resolve in terms of his doping hearing and getting his licence back. Those have to be sorted before we can make anything happen.
“If they do get sorted, then it is a huge option for us in the short to mid-term future. We all know that AJ would love that fight.
“As it stands, I think the best chance of a Fury fight is April 2018, at Wembley. That depends on a successful defence in October or November and everything falling into place for Fury. If it does, that will be another incredible night for an incredible fighter.”
Instead Joshua is likely to look for a fight with either the WBO champion Joseph Parker, or the WBC’s champion Deontay Wilder.
He also needs to defend his IBF title against the mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in order to avoid being stripped of the belt like Fury was, while a rematch with Klitschko is another possibility.