The date for Anthony Joshua's first title defence has been set


Charles Martin is probably still on the canvas at the O2 but Anthony Joshua is not waiting around - the 26-year-old IBF world heavyweight champion has already set a date for his first title defence.

June 25 is the date to clear on your calendar, with the fight scheduled to take place at the O2 yet again.

We don't yet know who AJ will be fighting but if Tyson Fury and Joshua are to meet it won't be until later in the year - due to Fury's July 9 rematch with Wladimir Klitschko - while David Haye also seems out of the picture due to having a fight scheduled in May.

Promoter Eddie Hearn is keen for AJ to get some attention in the States, and mentioned three names after the new IBF rankings came out: former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1-KO21), Eric Molina (25-3-KO19) and Dominic Breazeale (17-0-KO15).

"Those kind of people will be in the mix. There has been big interest from US broadcasters in Anthony Joshua. I think a US opponent makes sense for us," he said.

"He wants to go in with a real test and a bigger test than what he has been facing so far. The likes of those guys will provide that opportunity," Hearn told Sky Sports.

Regardless, it's bound to be entertaining and tickets will go on sale next week.

Joshua won the title in style only a few weeks ago when he dismissed Martin in just two rounds. The Brit was the favourite, despite being relatively inexperienced, but few expected him to dispatch the former champion so easily.

As a result of that performance, Joshua is favourite with many bookies for any upcoming fight, including against Fury, Haye, and current WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

Anthony Joshua (right) knocks down Charles Martin during the IBF Heavyweight World Championship title bout at the 02 Arena

Speaking about potential fights after the upcoming title defence, Hearn said: "I think the next fight after June 25 could be Tyson Fury. David Haye is a big fight. There is no real carrot with a David Haye fight, other than it's a huge fight with a load of money to be made.

"I think AJ wants the belts, he wants to unify the division. To do that, you have to beat Tyson Fury. We feel like Tyson Fury is a much easier fight than David Haye."

Big talk, let's hope AJ gets a chance to back it.