Anthony Joshua was there at ringside on Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the former two-time heavyweight champion saw two potential rivals make themselves such after picking up big, notable and impressive stoppage wins. 26 year old Daniel Dubois, in what was the biggest fight of his career, put on a career-best performance in stopping Filip Hrgovic in eight bloody rounds to become the IBF interim heavyweight titlist.

While later on that night, 41 year old Zhilei Zhang let loose with his “Big Bang” in crushing Deontay Wilder in the fifth round and very likely ending his career in the process. Both Dubois and Zhang looked good on Saturday, and both big punchers with skills are now in a very good position. As fans know, Turki Alalshikh has a big card planned for Wembley in September, and AJ will be the headliner.

With both Wilder and Hrgovic now out of the Joshua sweepstakes, it could be either Dubois or Zhang next for the British superstar. Of these two fighters, who would make the better, more exciting, and perhaps most importantly, most testing fight for Joshua in September? It would be a pretty quick turnaround for both Dubois and Zhang, but neither man picked up any damage in their respective wins, although Dubois did eat some hefty wallops from Hrgovic.

And with the kind of big money that is up for grabs, it’s likely both Zhang and Dubois will be up for a September date with AJ. Both fights would be big, interesting, and very likely fan-friendly. And though Joshua would be the favourite over either Zhang or Dubois, neither fight is anything like a foregone conclusion. This is heavyweight boxing, and we all know anything can and often does happen. Both Dubois, 21-2(20) and Zhang, 27-2-1(22) can whack and both men have shown they can take a good shot.

Dubois, who really does look to be coming into his own as a fighter, would be playing his part in the latest Battle of Britain if he fough AJ next, while for Zhang it would be rematch time, the two having met as Olympians back in the day; with AJ scoring a knockdown on the way to a points win over the big southpaw. Again, both of these potential fights would have no trouble selling. Also, as accustomed as we are to stacked cards these days, Alalshikh can be expected to put together some great supporting bouts. It promises to be a rocking night at Wembley at the end of the summer.

So, of the two possible challengers, who should AJ fight next? If it’s Dubois, it’s a chance for AJ to reclaim at least a portion of the world title. If it’s Zhang, Joshua would have the opportunity to become the first man to stop the man-mountain from China.

Maybe Joshua, 28-3(25) will end up facing both Dubois and Zhang down the road, but as far as who is next, my money’s on Dubois getting the gig. And this one will be lively if it happens. In fact, it could be “Dynamite.” Imagine what a story it would be if Dubois, all but written off by some after his gruesome eye injury of a defeat to Joe Joyce in November of 2020, pulled off a win over Joshua!

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