Today Matchroom Sports chairman Barry Hearn has made Bermane Stiverne his Number one choice to fight Anthony Joshua in Anthony’s next defence of his IBF world crown.
IBF heavyweight champion Joshua (17-0-KO17) has won his first two world title fights against Charles Martin and Dominic Breazeale this year and is mandated to begin negotiating a defence against Joseph Parker by November 9. However Barry believes there is still time for another voluntary defence of Anthony’s title before being obligated to face his mandatory.
Barry told Sky Sports: “Parker may well be next but I suspect, probably, Joshua will have another defence prior. There’s a whole range of names out there – whether you’re talking Stiverne, Eric Molina. Stiverne is probably my No 1 choice because of his credibility.” If this is the case that Barry believes Stiverne will be next then who ever is guiding Anthony need to go back to the drawing board. I say this as Barry has pointed out, he is a very credible fighter and although basic in his approach is very effective similar to Joshua in many ways. A fight with Stiverne should not be taken as a gimmie or on relative short notice as Barry is suggesting.
Barry has also been winding up Hughie Fury (20-0-KO10) to step into the ring against Joshua. Anthony has spoken of his willingness to take on the 21-year-old and his cousin Tyson Fury, the WBA ‘Super’ and WBO champion. Well I can sort of understand where Barry is coming from with Tyson in wanting to make a huge fight between two Brits. That’s a mega fight 100% . I ask myself but why call out Hughie ? Hughie is a young up and coming fighter . who is still developing physically and mentally. A fighter who has some delicate issues with his skin which is currently being treated on. The only logical reason to why Barry is calling out Hughie is that he knows and the son of Barry in Eddie is that Hughie could and will be something very special when Older. Hughie has all the skills to dominate most fighters right now at 21 years of age. Just imagine how good he can be when his health clears up, develops physically and mentally. He will be something very very special. A cracking amateur career with a world youth amateur championship to his name. Its just a waiting game with Hughie and has time on his side.
Barry Hearn said: “I’d like to see Hughie Fury step up and have a go! They’re two undefeated fighters and it’s a fight that would sell to the British public” . Yes that’s true it would sell well . However Hughie’s team are not stupid to throw Hughie in yet to that melting pot. As I earlier said Hughie’s health has to be 100% before any fight full stop not just the big fights.
Barry continued “There’s a lot of choice – it’s a lot easier when you’re the champion than the challenger.” The last not I will say on that is yes there is lots of choice. But its a limited choice to ensure that Anthony’s opponents are legitimate for such an Occasion. So Barry & Edward please choose wisely.
*Quotes from Barry Hearn are from Sky sports