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Anthony Joshua return targeted for April 1, training in United States

Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua will train in the United States for an April return to the ring.

Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua will train in the United States for an April return to the ring
Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua will train in the United States for an April return to the ring
Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Former heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua is planning to return to the ring on April 1 in London, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, who says AJ will be training in the United States, and that he’s encouraged about the form we’ll see from Joshua in the spring.

Hearn declined to name the trainer, but it’s not going to be Robert Garcia. Virgil Hunter and Derrick James have both had their names rumored recently, and we know AJ has worked out with Ronnie Shields in the past, too, so we’ll find out for sure soon. It could be one of them or someone else. What a scoop!

One thing maybe worth noting is that Malik Scott said this week to Best Sports Betting Canada that Gerald Washington is “one of the leading names to possibly fight” Joshua in AJ’s return.

Joshua has lost two straight fights to Olekandr Usyk, and Hearn has talked about AJ having a “top 15” sort of opponent for his comeback bid. Whether or not the 40-year-old Washington (20-5-1, 13 KO), who has lost his last two to Charles Martin and Ali Eren Demirezen, would qualify there for anyone other than a sanctioning body is up for debate at best, but keep the name in mind, perhaps.

Here’s what Hearn told The DAZN Boxing Show about Joshua (sign up at

“He is gonna train in America, and he’ll start that camp in the next week. You’ll get the news soon. ... AJ’s his own man, and (confirming a new trainer) is for him to confirm.

“April 1 is the targeted date in London. I have a call (today) to go through the final list of opponents, the final bits and pieces around the date. We’re almost ready. He’s excited.”

“I’m happy with the trainer. I’m happy with anybody that makes AJ feel comfortable, feel motivated, feel excited, and I think this is gonna be a nice break. The problem is, being in the UK, he can’t breathe. When he goes to America, people still know who he is, but it’s just a different world.

“Can you imagine, that Anthony Joshua, where he’s gonna be training, can rent a house or stay in a hotel, and can go for a walk and go and sit in a coffee shop and have a bit of breakfast and a bit of coffee with some friends, and yeah, someone might come over and go, ‘AJ, man, how you doin’?’ But literally, that is an impossibility (in the UK). He can go to the mall and have a nice stroll around and pop into Foot Locker and just be normal. Like, live a normal life that people should be allowed to do. It’s just a pressure cooker.”

“Because he’s that guy, because he’s that ambassador and role model, he’ll never turn down a photo or a conversation. You don’t realize how much that’s going to drain you when you’re doing two or three sessions a day. I think it’s gonna be really good for him. I really feel like you’re gonna see a reinvigorated Anthony Joshua in April and I can’t wait to see him back.”

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