Anthony Joshua Betting: Which of these four opponents will AJ face next?

Boxer Anthony Joshua
2021 will be a massive year in the career of Anthony Joshua

Betfair's boxing writer Frankie Monkhouse examines who heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua could face next...

"The current fight winner betting on the Betfair Sportsbook has Fury as 4/7 favourite against the 11/8 of Joshua and 22/1 the draw.

AJ defends in style

Anthony Joshua defended his clutch of world heavyweight titles impressively when taking out the experienced Kubrat Pulev in nine rounds at Wembley. That win moved the Londoner's record to 24 wins against one defeat and extended his stunning knockout average to 88%.

Not only did AJ retain ownership of the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO belts, but the big-punching 31-year-old from Watford kept alive the chances of a blockbuster unification match with fellow Brit Tyson Fury in 2021. That's the one fans in the UK want to see but it's not the only option open to Team Joshua on where they go next.

Below you'll find four opponents AJ could face in 2021 and the current betting odds offered by the Betfair Sportsbook. Pick your favourite and get in early to secure a nice price on your prediction.

Joshua vs Fury - unification fight

This is the one we all want to see, and it seems like the ideal time for the heavyweight champions to settle their differences. Fan attendance is a must for this bout. It must happen at a major UK venue, like Wembley, and it deserves a sell-out audience in attendance. Anything less would be unacceptable for what would be the biggest all-British heavyweight clash in a generation.

Fan attendance looks to be the only stumbling block at present as the current travel restrictions mean it's easier to pair two British fighters. AJ vs the Gypsy King would sell out any venue and would pull in a huge number of pay-per-view buys. Who would come out on top and write their names into the history books?

That's a question that keeps followers of the sport guessing but Betfair traders have pinned their colours to the mast and are with Tyson. The current fight winner betting on the Betfair Sportsbook has Fury as 4/7 favourite against the 11/8 of Joshua and 22/1 the draw. Fury is 15/8 to win on points or 9/4 for a KO/TKO. Joshua is 5/2 for a KO/TKO with 11/2 the points decision.

Joshua vs Wilder - expect fireworks

If Deontay Wilder doesn't complete the trilogy with Fury, then boxing followers would love to see the American knockout king get a crack at Joshua. This could be an ideal return to America for AJ following that shock knockout defeat against Andy Ruiz in New York.

This is an easy sell with Joshua carrying an 88% KO average and Wilder bringing a fearsome 93% knockout ratio. The winner is anyone's guess at this stage but if AJ and the Bronze Bomber were to go toe-to-toe one thing is for certain, the scoring judges sat at ringside wouldn't be needed. This would be a shoot-out.

How do traders see it? Wilder is ranked number two in the world behind Tyson and ahead of Anthony, which is surprising, but the Betfair Sportsbook has Joshua as 4/7 favourite against Wilder at 5/4 and 25/1 the draw. A better price will be available when backing either man to win by KO/TKO in the method of victory list.

Joshua v Usyk - too big and strong

Oleksandr Usyk is the man determined to gate-crash the heavyweight party and rule the top division after unifying the cruiserweight titles. Only two men have previously won world titles at both cruiserweight and heavyweight - Evander Holyfield and David Haye. Can Usyk add his name to that list and become a living legend?

If he is to do that, he must defeat Joshua and that's certainly no mean feat. Usyk proved he has what it takes to mix it with a proven heavyweight, beating Derek Chisora on points at Wembley in October. The Ukrainian's skills certainly aren't in question but is he strong enough to hold off a man like Joshua for 12 rounds?

Usyk weighed 255lbs for the Chisora fight, AJ weighed 283lbs when beating Ruiz. Joshua fans argue their man would simply walk Usyk down, trap him against the ropes and knock him out. That's certainly a possibility and the champion would consider himself a strong favourite.

Joshua vs Ruiz - the trilogy

Would we want to see Joshua complete the trilogy? Many certainly would but it's unlikely Team Joshua would be in a rush to gamble against Ruiz again. With the score standing at 1-1 there's everything to lose and not a lot to gain.

Ruiz rocked the world when knocking out AJ at Madison Square Gardens, but the Englishman responded to wrestle back his titles with a points win in Saudi Arabia in the rematch. If Joshua was to beat Ruiz in a third fight critics would say it was to be expected but if lightning struck twice for Ruiz it could end Joshua's career.

Ruiz hasn't done anything of note since beating Joshua, other than pile on the pounds. There's no doubting the fact he celebrated becoming heavyweight champion of the world in style, perhaps knowing it was freak luck and would be short-lived. The 31-year-old Californian has a professional record of 33 wins against two defeats but hasn't fought since losing the first defence of the world title belts to their current owner.

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