2018 has proved to be another memorable year for Anthony Joshua as he retained his position as the world’s number one heavyweight boxer. AJ added Joseph Parker’s WBO heavyweight title to his WBA (Super), IBF and IBO crowns in front of a sell-out Principality Stadium crowd. After that unification bout in March, Joshua returned to London in September where he defeated mandatory challenger, Alexander Povetkin, at Wembley Stadium.
Now, as the dust starts to settle on a scintillating year of boxing for Anthony Joshua, we look forward to what 2019 holds.
Joshua is back in the ring on April 13th when the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion will put his titles on the line at Wembley Stadium. AJ’s opponent has not yet been confirmed with speculation rife as to whom that could be.
Although no opponent has yet been named, Betting Sites’ betting partner, Betfair, are offering unbeatable odds on a whole host of potential showdowns. Here we take a look at those possible match-ups and provide fight odds on each.
The one AJ wants - AJ vs Deontay Wilder
Anthony Joshua has long maintained his ambition to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. To do that he will need to wrestle the WBC title from Deontay Wilder. Fans believe this fight should’ve happened in 2018 with both fighter’s respective promotional teams blaming one another for the failure to make the fight.
Both Joshua and Wilder remain unbeaten and both are considered dangerous fighters but it is felt that until their paths cross neither will be considered amongst heavyweight boxing’s greats. The aim for both fighters is to become the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.
Joshua - 1/2
Wilder - 13/8
The one the fans want - AJ vs Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury remains the only active heavyweight that rival Joshua when it comes to their profile amongst fans. Fury shocked the world when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko but a series of drug and mental health problems outside of the ring meant that an all-British super-fight with AJ seemed unlikely. However, a superb performance against Deontay Wilder in a fight many believe the Gypsy King won, has put the cat right amongst the pigeons; the big two (AJ and Wilder) is now undoubtedly a big three.
If Joshua and Fury take to the ring in 2019 it is likely to smash all previous boxing office records in the UK. The bookies can barely split them with Betfair making Joshua a slight favourite at 5/6.
Joshua - 5/6
Fury - 10/11
The one most likely - AJ vs Dillian Whyte
Wilder or Fury remain the ultimate goal for Anthony Joshua but it is more likely that April will see a rematch with bitter rival, Dillian Whyte. Providing Whyte can first get through his rematch with Dereck Chisora unscathed, he could be in line for a deserved world title shot.
Whyte is mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder’s WBC crown but it is likely that Wilder will agree to a rematch with Tyson Fury. Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk are also potential opponents but the sensible money would be on AJ taking on Whyte before then facing the winner of the Wilder/Fury bout in the Autumn.
Joshua - 1/5
Whyte - 10/3
The outside chance – AJ vs Jarrell Miller
With Fury and Wilder face up for a second time and Joshua not keen on a rematch with Whyte then a clash with Jarrell Miller could be an excellent commercial opportunity. Deontay Wilder aside, heavyweight boxing in the USA is currently at an all-time low. Miller is the USA’s most exciting prospect, therefore fighting ‘Big Baby’ will give Joshua an opportunity to break into the American market. This could prove helpful in trying to sell a Joshua/Wilder fight further down the line.
Despite the obvious commercial attractions, a fight with Miller should not be taken lightly. Miller ended 2018 with two comprehensive victories against former world title challenger, Tomasz Adamek and the previously undefeated, Bogdan Dinu.
All eyes will be on Madison Square Garden next month as Miller is scheduled to fight on January 18th.
Joshua - 1/5
Miller - 10/3
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