Anthony Joshua has announced that he will not return to the ring until December following this month’s win over Jermaine Franklin.
The British heavyweight star has been linked with fights against Dillian Whyte and Tyson Fury following his unanimous decision victory over American Franklin at The O2.
But Joshua appeared to suffer a nose injury during the fight and he posted a statement on social media that suggested a lengthy absence from the sport.
“My next fight is scheduled for December. Not ideal but everything is part of a bigger picture,” Joshua confirmed on his Instagram story.
Joshua lost his unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and could not reclaim them when he lost his rematch last year with the Ukrainian.
Speaking after the Frankin win he said, “I’m going to keep on pushing and plugging away. Maybe I could have let my hands go more [against Franklin]. Maybe this, maybe that.
“That’s all the past now and all we can look forward to is what’s going to happen in the future. It’s just good to be back and getting the ball rolling. We’re climbing, we’re climbing the ladder once again.”
Joshua called for a heavyweight showdown against British rival Fury after he battled to a points win over Jermaine Franklin.
Joshua previously acknowledged he would have considered retiring had he lost to Franklin. But he promises his enthusiasm for the sport is undimmed.
“I’m passionate. Self-driven. Motivated. No one forces me to do this. No one forces me to get up in the morning and run. It’s tough,” he said. “It’s tough sometimes.
“But there’s something in you that’s like, ‘Come on, you’ve got to fight, you’ve got to win.’ The minute you start losing that desire, you’ve got to be real with yourself.”
He knows that moment will arrive for him one day. One day he will have to stop.
“There is no ticking timebomb that I could actually tell you when it’s going to detonate. But there’s a reality,” he said.
However, he noted: “The reality I’m living is, we’re still chasing something. I’m still chasing the dream.
“I’m definitely passionate about the game. Still. For so many reasons. The list is long and I’m committed until it’s done.”