Fighting talk: The Price is right for AJ

Anthony Joshua (left) knocks down Kevin Johnson in their WBC International heavyweight title fight at the O2 Arena, London
Anthony Joshua (left) knocks down Kevin Johnson in their WBC International heavyweight title fight at the O2 Arena, London

It’s no secret - Anthony Joshua is a heavyweight world champion in the making.

The 25-year-old recently dispatched of Kevin Johnson at London’s O2 Arena to earn his 13th stoppage in as many contests, all of which have come inside three rounds.

I’d get him in the ring with Price or Chisora

Luke Blackledge

Luke Blackledge has called for David Price or Derek Chisora to be the next step on the ladder for Joshua, with the former once in a similar position to the Matchroom fighter.

However, it all came crashing down for the Liverpudlian in 2013 following defeat to Tony Thompson.

Standing at 6ft 8in Price would represent a new challenge for Joshua, whose next outing has been scheduled for July 18th at the Manchester Arena.

“Anthony Joshua is a machine,” said Blackledge. “He’s not had a massive test yet but you can see his calibre.

“He might not be getting the rounds in but he’ll still be learning from those fights. He’ll learn every day in the gym too, particularly with top guys around him, and it’s all experience for him.

“I’d get him in the ring with Price or Chisora. That’s the next step and that would show how good he is. He’s at that level.

“Price has got the attributes to test him but Joshua would hold his own. It would be a good fight for Joshua and for the UK fans.”

Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder, Manuel Charr, Thompson, Mariusz Wach and Joseph Parker are also names to have crept in to conversation as Joshua makes his ascent towards more lucrative bouts with the likes of Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko.

“I wouldn’t say he’s ready to fight Fury just yet,” said the Commonwealth super-middleweight champion.

“There’s no need to rush in to things. He doesn’t need that fight yet.

“He’s definitely ready to step up though. He’s a big money earner and a huge prospect. He’s definitely a future world champion. I’m 100 per cent sure about that.

“It’s good for the British sport, especially with the likes of James DeGale, Kell Brook, Lee Selby, Carl Frampton and Jamie McDonnell as world champions now.”