Hearn responds afte Joshua made ‘approach’ to Andy Ruiz Jr opponent

Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr arrive for title rematch

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Eddie Hearn has denied reports that he has approached Chris Arreola for a fight against Anthony Joshua. The Matchroom Boxing chief has affirmed that Joshua will have two quick fights against ‘credible’ top 15 opponents after negotiations to stage the all-British showdown with Tyson Fury fell through.

Joshua is set to return to the ring on December 17 at the Wembley Arena, London. With speculation growing about his potential next opponent, various Twitter accounts claimed that Arreola had been approached to face the Watford Powerhouse on that date.

Hearn has since confirmed that those rumours are untrue. “Sometimes I read stuff like ‘AJ’s made an offer to Chris Arreola’, absolute rubbish, next thing that’s reported in every newspaper,” Hearn told the DAZN Boxing Show. “I’ve not even spoken to Chris Arreola about a fight, and that’s everywhere. By the way, I’m not saying that’s a bad fight, I’m just saying we’ve not reach out to him at all about that fight.”

Arreola (38-7-1) is a three-time heavyweight world title challenger but at 41 years old his best years are behind him. In his last fight, The Nightmare was defeated by Joshua’s former conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr in a barn brawler back in May 2021.

He is currently not ranked by any of the four major sanctioning bodies so would not fit Hearn’s description of a top 15 foe and has been very inactive in recent years.

Speaking about Joshua’s next steps, Hearn continued: “Otto Wallin’s name gets thrown around sometimes, obviously he had a good fight with Tyson Fury, anyone in that top 15, Joe Joyce is a good fight, a tough fight.

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“I think he’s a handful for anybody that could be a big UK fight but for me, see what happens with AJ’s team, if he doesn’t get the Fury fight which it doesn’t look like he will, I think we revert to two quick fights to get the machine moving, the confidence back in a bid to become a three-time heavyweight world champion.”

Both Otto Wallin and Zhang Zhilei have been brought up repeatedly by the British promoter when discussing possible next opponents for Joshua. A fight with Zhang is more likely to be saved for an event in China due to Big Bang’s star power in his home country.

While Wallin is a well-known face on British shores after his fight with Fury and is considered to be the frontrunner for the December 17 date in the UK.

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