ANTHONY JOSHUA is set to meet with Eddie Hearn in Abu Dhabi this week to determine how and when he will return to boxing.
The former heavyweight champion is taking time out to recover mentally after consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
He will enjoy some down time in the Middle East with promoter Hearn, who is staging Dmitry Bivol’s fight with Gilberto Ramirez.
But talk will soon turn to business for the pair as Joshua, 33, must decide when and who he returns against.
Hearn told DAZN: “I think it all depends on when AJ fights.
“If he waits until April or May, he may go straight into the Dillian Whyte fight. If he fights in February, he may have a warm-up fight first.
“Heâs coming to Abu Dhabi this week; we are sitting down with him to plan the next step and weâre on the verge of mapping that out.”
Before AJ’s rematch los to Usyk, 35, in August, Hearn sent Deontay Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel an invitation to hold talks.
Only now has Finkel responded, leaving the door open to AJ returning against Wilder, 37, or Dillian Whyte, 34, next year.
Hearn said: “I actually sent Shelly Finkel an email back in August to talk about a deal and he actually replied to me yesterday.
“I invited them out here to Abu Dhabi this week, they canât come.
“But I see the Deontay Wilder fight probably being the second fight for Anthony Joshua in all honesty, but heâs up for fighting anyone.
“If he waits, he may go straight into that fight, it all depends on when he returns, if he returns early in the year, heâll fight someone else first and if not heâll go straight into the Whyte or Wilder fight.”
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