Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua could face fellow British fighter Dillian Whyte next, According to Tidesports source
Joshua reclaimed his three world titles by beating Andy Ruiz Jr on points in a rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
The 30-year-old previously beat Whyte, 31, in 2015.
The WBO said Joshua must now face mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk while IBF equivalent Kubrat Pulev is another potential next opponent.
But according to the source, a rematch against Whyte might be Joshua’s first fight in 2020.
Whyte beat Joshua as an amateur in 2009 and his only professional defeat in 28 bouts was a seventh-round knockout by his fellow Briton at the O2 Arena in London.
After having a charge for a doping violation dropped by UK Anti-Doping last Friday, Whyte beat Poland’s Mariusz Wach on a unanimous points decision on the undercard of the Joshua-Ruiz bout in Riyadh.
“Dillian Whyte at Wembley next year makes all the sense in the world,” said Bunce after the all-British fight – was suggested.
“Ukad has cleared him, Whyte and Joshua have got an old beef – that’s perfect.”
WBC champion Deontay Wilder is set to face Britain’s Tyson Fury in a rematch on 22 February.
Joshua said he is no longer interested in calling out American Wilder for a fight with all four world titles on the line but will fight Wilder and Fury “if the opportunity presents itself”.
“Once their rematch is out of the way they can start mentioning my name,” he said.
“I can’t keep on fighting all the champions, the best in the division and then other people who say they want to step up don’t step up.
“All challengers are welcome to take on this current unified champion.”
Joshua’s win over Ruiz and the fact many bookmakers were offering near even odds in any contest against Wilder or Fury showed he was “back on the top table” after his shock defeat by Ruiz in June.
“We are on the cusp, possibly, of having this great heavyweight era that we’ve been talking about for so long over the next two years,” he added.
Joshua was meant to face Pulev in Cardiff in October 2017 but the Bulgarian withdrew through injury and was replaced by Carlos Takam, who Joshua stopped in round 10.
Bunce also said Joshua could well “fight a guy like Pulev next” before possibly facing the winner of a bout between Usyk and Britain’s Dereck Chisora in the summer and then a third fight in November or December.
Joshua said on Sunday that defending his belts “on home soil would be big news” after promoter Eddie Hearn revealed he had been in discussions over a fight at Tottenham’s new 60,000-capacity stadium, most likely against Pulev.
“It would be mega,” Joshua added. “Looking at how many people came out here shows there is still a big interest in the heavyweight division, especially now we are taking the belts back.
“Sometimes it would be better against a Brit, but if not I follow the mandatories and defend them that way.”
Regardless of the opponent, Woodhall said Joshua’s next fight “will not be too far away” because he has a “feel-good factor” after beating Ruiz.
“He’s got that hunger back and he wants to keep boxing because he knows that if he’s boxing regularly, he’s boxing at his best.”
‘I Can Discover Ballon d’Or Winners In Nigeria’
Ex-Nigeria international Usman Abdallah has declared that he can help the country groom future Ballon d’Or winners if he is handed the U20 job.
Abdallah, who led Enyimba to win the 2019 Nigeria Professional Football League and a Confederation Cup semi-final finish, is favourite to replace Paul Aigbogun for the Flying Eagles’ head coach role.
His outstanding CV features a Uefa A license, a degree in football coaching and team management (France) and a Strength and Conditioning level 1 coaching certificate in Australia.
According to reports, the Nigeria Football Federation will announce the Franco-Nigerian in the coming days, a claim the tactician is unsure of when quizzed by newsmen.
“Just like every other person, I applied for the job but I’m yet to get confirmation if I was picked or not.
“Nigeria is my country and it will be nice if I eventually get this role because it will be a big chance to serve. Also, I have what it takes to discover future Ballon d’Or winners for the country.
“Without sounding immodest, I strongly believe that I will excel in this position not only because of my wealth of experience but because of my closeness to grassroots football.
“As I have always said, this level deserves a lot of serious work because players picked at this level form a pivot of future Super Eagles,”he told newsmen.
After a failed expedition at the 2019 Fifa U20 World Cup in Poland, Nigeria will be hoping to qualify for Indonesia 2021 through the Africa U20 Cup of Nations scheduled for Mauritania.
Champions, Europa Leagues Finals Likely For August
The Champions League and Europa League look increasingly likely to be played exclusively in August after more talks about the remainder of the 2019-20 season on Wednesday.
Uefa told the 55 associations on Tuesday there was still the possibility of the competitions being played throughout June, July and August.
But Tidesports source understands that the latest discussions revolved almost exclusively around a plan to complete the domestic leagues by 31 July, with European competition following after that.
Nothing definitive has been agreed but Uefa is keen to leave all options on the table for as long as possible given the general uncertainty across Europe and in the knowledge there is no guarantee the season will be finished.
However, there is a view that travel restrictions are more likely to have eased in August, which would be necessary for a cross-border competition.
The scenario envisaged would be for the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the respective European competitions to be played as two-legged ties between 11 and 22 August, although these could yet become one-off games.
In the plans now being discussed, there would be some flexibility for domestic fixtures to be played in August, should a July conclusion prove impossible.
The Premier League has nine rounds of fixtures remaining but in Spain and Italy, two countries that have been badly affected, there are still 11 and 12 rounds left respectively – although both have fewer cup games to fit into their schedules.
Uefa hopes the situation will become clearer in the next fortnight but completing the season in this way would cause the least disruption to its qualification competition for the 2020-21 season, which was supposed to start at the end of June but has been delayed indefinitely.
S’Eagles’ll Miss Mikel, Ighalo -Etebo
John Obi Mikel and Odion Ighalo would remain a big miss for Nigeria, concedes Oghenekaro Etebo, with the Super Eagles still coming to terms with their retirement.
After the Super Eagles clinched third-place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the duo drew the curtains on their international careers.
Mikel, 32, was the first to bow out before Egypt 2019 top scorer Ighalo followed the path of the former Chelsea star.
Coach Gernot Rohr is prepared to put faith in the likes of Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen as replacements for the duo.
The Getafe man said it was clear that the three-time African kings would miss Mikel and Ighalo for their leadership attributes, but believes Osimhen can fill the vacuum left by the Manchester United striker.
“They are leaders who we are going to be missed in the dressing room,” he stated.
“Mikel was a leader; I recall how he helped us during the Olympics when we had issues during our preparations for the Games. Not because I played with him but for the impact he had on me as a player.
“They helped the team make vital decisions during tough times and I guess it was just time for them to move on.
“Ighalo on his part is a goal poacher that we also miss but thank God that we have another goal poacher in [Victor] Osimhen, but we have to be patient with him to settle in well into that role.”
After the coronavirus pandemic, Rohr is expected to begin life without the retired players as Nigeria would be hoping to qualify for the 2021 Afcon billed for Cameroon.
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