Eddie Hearn, Anthony Joshua’s promoter, has planned to take the world heavyweight champions beyond Great Britain after the Nigerian-born British pugilist has had all his 20 professional fights in GB.
Joshua retained his International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association heavyweight titles on Saturday after stopping Carlos Takam in the 10th round at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
“I know Joshua very well; he is my friend and I can tell you that he is not a fighter that fears challenges. At least even people who have doubted him will now believe that he is a deserved world heavyweight champions,” Apochi said.
Meanwhile, speaking to the press after the Tekam fight, Hearn said, “I would like him to box three times in 2018,” Hearn told reporters.
“He doesn’t have to, it’s down to Anthony. We may have a mandatory (defence) with the WBA which is unclear at the moment.
“There’s (WBO champion) Joseph Parker, there’s (WBC champion) Deontay Wilder. I would like him to have an international fight in 2018, but it does seem a shame to leave all this.
“It’s about sitting down and seeing what he wants to do, he’s capable of fighting in any territory, we need a clear plan moving forward.”
American Wilder defends his World Boxing Council belt against Haiti’s Bermane Stiverne on November 4
Joshua, 28, says he does not mind who he fights — Wilder, New Zealander Parker or a mandatory challenger — so long as he is retains the WBA and IBF belts.
“I’m just focusing on keeping my belts, who ever that is on the WBA list that’s who it is,” Joshua told reporters.
my next three fights but the long term strategy.”
Takam, 36, complained about the stoppage but will take a lot of credit after fighting on with impaired vision after being cut near his right eye in the fourth round where he also took a count.
“I’m happy with the win is secured and we move on,” said Joshua, who paid tribute to his opponent for battling on despite the injury.
“His eyes were nearly hanging off because the cut was deep, but he wanted to carry on and that’s the fighter’s instinct.
“I didn’t care if I sparked him out or it went 12 rounds, but people wanted to see him unconscious. I tried to do that but the ref’s job is to make sure they can fight another day.
“I didn’t want to rush things because he was quite experienced.
“He knows his durability and just (wanted to) try to land that one sweet punch and those belts go back to France.”
One of Joshua’s former victims and another British fighter, Dillian Whyte, may get to Wilder before Joshua as he is ranked number three by the WBC.
Jamaica-born Whyte, whose only defeat in 23 fights was the seventh-round stoppage against Joshua almost two years ago, unanimously out-pointed Finland’s Robert Helenius on the undercard.
“If Deontay Wilder will travel, there’s a fight to be made on February 3 in London,” said Hearn of his plans for Whyte.