Eddie Hearn has revealed that Anthony Joshua could take a “risky” rematch to help him prepare to fight Deontay Wilder.
Hearn has been locked in negotiations for Joshua to face Wilder in December in Saudi Arabia.
But the promoter remains open to AJ taking a summer bout in the interim to allow more time to gel with new coach Derrick James.
So Dillian Whyte – who Joshua knocked out in 2015 – could be be in line for a rematch if his rival fancies rolling the dice.
Hearn told Samina For Sale: “We all believe he needs that fight in August and more time with Derrick James, more preparation for Deontay Wilder, and then that’s it.
“Who we choose will be dependent on if we get that Wilder deal done. I like the Dillian Whyte fight.
“Whether he gets the Wilder fight done or not, I like that fight. I think it’s a fight that AJ will get up for.
“I think it’s a fight that he can have some spite for, and it’s a fight that is dangerous.
“There will be a lot on the line because if you sign a massive deal to fight Deontay Wilder in December and you’re fighting Dillian Whyte in August, it’s risky business.
“I don’t feel like a fight against someone that he’s not fired up for or not motivated for or someone who is going to roll over is going to prepare him for that Wilder fight.
That’s where we’re at, but we’re trying to work backward after getting the Wilder fight over the line first.”
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Boxing bosses in the Middle East want Tyson Fury, 34, to fight Oleksandr Usyk, 36, on the SAME NIGHT as Joshua against Wilder.
But whether or not the heavyweight bonanza can be achieved or not, Hearn insisted AJ, 33, is still on course to face Wilder, 37.
He said: “The situation is, Saudi Arabia would like to do Fury against Usyk, AJ against Wilder on the same night.
“I went out there two weeks ago, they’re deadly serious, I’ve done two big fights with them before, I know they deliver.
“As I understand it, they’ve been doing their own negotiations with Deontay Wilder, which has gone very well.
“They’ve been talking to Usyk for a year, because he boxed AJ over there and they know the rough kind of numbers that we want based on what we received for the Andy Ruiz fight and Usyk fight in Saudi Arabia.
“Fury is another story altogether, but not my business. But all I’m concerned about is doing the deal for AJ against Wilder, because if they can’t get Usyk and Fury over the line they will still do AJ against Wilder.
“This is what they want. They want this big quartet. AJ’s already told me ‘no problem’.
“You hit the numbers that we want for the fight, that aren’t unreasonable and not hugely out of proportion in terms of what he received there last time, we’re in.”