British hero Anthony Joshua secured a hard-fought unanimous points victory over Jermaine Franklin in London earlier this month, and now the focus is on who the 33-year-old former unified heavyweight champion of the world might face next.
The win at the O2 Arena was Joshua’s first since his December 2020 success over Kubrat Pulev. Since then, he’s suffered back-to-back losses to Ukrainian fighter Oleksandr Usyk, first at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London and then in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Perhaps even as painful as those losses to Usyk, both of which came after monumentally brutal 12-round bouts, was the aftermath of his behavior following the second of those two defeats.
After he lost to Usyk in that second fight last August, he, rather churlishly and certainly in an unsportsmanlike manner, dropped Usyk’s two belts over the top rope and then argued with his opponent’s team before being held back.
He then had a word or two to say to some individuals in the crowd as he left the arena before returning, hugging Usyk and then grabbing a mic and explaining in detail why he lost the fight.
This unpredictable behavior, which was very much unlike you’d usually see Joshua behave, led to a great deal of criticism, much of which, to give him credit, the Watford-born fighter took on the chin.
Of his win over Franklin, Joshua was typically honest about his own performance, stating;
“No knockout, so no good. It is a brutal sport, but knockouts are everything. I’m not too happy,”
“I could have thrown more shots, and I should have, no excuses. But I will. That is part of coming back; you have to be your own biggest critic.” He added.
Inevitably the question on everyone’s lips is, who next? There are many options, some more tangible than others, about who Joshua could face in his next fight.
When it comes to that all-important next fight, you’ll want to know where you may well be able to watch it.
Which Streaming Service is Best for Boxing Action?
In much the same way as most of us have a host of streaming site accounts to meet our needs in relation to TV shows and movies, the search for the right service for sports, and specifically boxing action, can sometimes be as much of a titanic struggle as a bruising 12-round melee in the ring.
The quest when it comes to finding the best sports streaming service is a monumental one, as every option has its pros and cons, so how do you go about locating the right one that meets your needs as a boxing fan?
Boxing is very much a sport that’s on the up and up in terms of viewership, much like its close cousin MMA (UFC), and there are countless options to consider if you are looking for a streaming service that is likely to cover the key fights that interest you.
DAZN is seen by many as the most comprehensive boxing-centric option, and they do a great job in this space. ESPN also does well covering Top Rank boxing events, mainly on ESPN+.
Showtime is a good option also, as is FITE TV and Fox.
Clearly, most of the big fights will appear exclusively on a PPV (Pay Per View) basis, and DAZN and ESPN+ do not provide these, mainly because the idea here is that they will cover a great many big fights for their subscribers.
Back to Joshua
The win for Joshua, albeit against a lesser-known opponent in Jermaine Franklin, will now leave the fighter with options, and a growing list of potential suitors for his next fight is very much on the horizon.
Tyson Fury is the big trump card, and it’s a fight that Joshua wants, and when asked about such a bout straight after he’d overcome Franklin, he stated;
“That’s the pot of gold,”
“The WBC heavyweight champion of the world. That’s what it’s about.”
“If the coach and team say it’s a good opportunity, I’d take it with both hands. The boxing world needs it.”
This Battle of Britain has been talked about way too many times before, and of course, on two occasions, a deal has almost been agreed upon. In August 2020, but was shelved after Fury was ordered to fight Deontay Wilder by the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) and late in 2022, Joshua failed to meet a deadline by Fury, with the Gypsy King instead fighting Derek Chisora, which he duly won.
Promoter Eddie Hearn clearly would like to see the fight happen, and on the possibility of getting the two fighters in the ring, he stated, somewhat cryptically;
“That fight is all about timing,”
“How long do you wait? If it’s there, it would be difficult not to take.”
Joshua’s only other alternative, when it comes to a fight that would result in a world title, would be to face Usyk again, but having lost twice to the fighter, a third fight would be a massive risk to take.
This then points the way to a more probable clash with Deontay Wilder. The fight between the two big hitters almost happened in 2019, and now, with no belts at stake, perhaps such a fight is less risky to both and might be one that could lead to a negotiated deal in the coming weeks or months.