Anthony Joshua‘s promoter Eddie Hearn has been in contact with Deontay Wilder over a potential heavyweight clash between the pair, according to boxing journalist and industry expert Dan Rafael.
Joshua is reportedly looking for a new head coach ahead of his prospective return to the ring at some point next year, between February and April. An opponent is yet to be named for his return fight, however.
The British-Nigerian is taking a break from the sport after back-to-back defeats against Oleksandr Usyk that saw him lose his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles.
Wilder, meanwhile, put his devastating knockout power on show with an emphatic first-round KO victory over Robert Helenius last month, a result that helped him return to winning ways following his trilogy with Tyson Fury.
Now, a showdown between the former champions could be on the cards next year as they look to get back into the title picture.
But Rafael, who has covered the sport extensively for two decades, doubts the fight will happen next.
“I don’t know who he (Joshua) will fight next but I would be very, very surprised if his next fight was against Wilder,” Rafael told GIVEMESPORT.
“There’s a lot of issues there. You know, I know he’s been saying they’re negotiating, they’re not really negotiating. If you call exchanging an email with Deontay Wilder’s manager a negotiation, that’s, in my opinion, that’s a stretch of the definition.
“Yes, there’s been contact. And that’s good because as I have said before, there’s never anything wrong with communication. But there’s a lot of issues to making that fight.”
In terms of other potential opponents, Otto Wallin and Dillian Whyte are more likely options for Joshua when he makes his ring return.
Wallin is waiting patiently for news of his next assignment, while Whyte faces American Jermaine Franklin on Saturday at Wembley Arena.
There is of course also the possibility that Joshua could take a warm-up fight instead.
For now, though, we’ll have to wait and see until Joshua makes an announcement regarding his next opponent.