Former super-middleweight world champion George Groves believes Anthony Joshua may be ‘weighing up his options’ and could even contemplate retiring after two losses on the bounce.
AJ recently extended the rest period between his consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk and his next fight. He is now expected to box around January or February next year rather than the initially targeted December 17 date at Wembley Arena.
When asked about the purpose of Joshua’s longer break, Groves told iFL TV: “He’s been a unified world champion for a long time and then faces these losses. So, he might need a little mental break, it might just be that the right fight is not right now for him.
“If it’s not right for him, then yeah have a break. He might be weighing up his future anyway, he’s achieved an awful lot in his career, he must have earnt good money and he’s been involved in mega nights.
Since then, Whyte and Joshua have established themselves as world-class heavyweights and there is considerable interest from both parties in staging a rematch. Whyte returns to the ring for the first time since being knocked out by Tyson Fury in April against unbeaten American up-and-comer Jermaine Franklin on November 26.
Providing he overcomes the challenge, Joshua vs Whyte could be staged at a UK stadium to kick off the boxing calendar.
“In terms of names, I was talking to him the other day, he wants to fight Dillian Whyte,” Hearn told the DAZN boxing show. “Whyte fights November 26 against Franklin who is talking a tremendous game, so we have to see how that pans out.
“But I think Dillian Whyte is probably the frontrunner if he comes through. Otto Wallin is a guy who has reached out a number of times, I think that is a good fight for him too. And then there is the Wilder situation, I’m not saying that is going to be a fight for January or February, but it is a fight he is definitely looking at.
“The feeling from AJ is, the value of a tune-up fight… sometimes they are always as dangerous as each other. I don’t think he wants to start dropping out of the top 10 and top 15 of the governing bodies and just looking for an easy touch, I think he wants a real fight and those are real fights you can see him in.”