Anthony Joshua defended the WBA, IBF, and IBO Heavyweight titles this past Saturday in Cardiff, where he defeated top contender Carlos Takam (35-4-1, 27 KOs) by 10th round stoppage. Joshua extended his knockout streak and kept his undefeated record intact (20-0, 20 KOs), but the crowd at the Principality Stadium were left with an unconvincing stoppage. Takam made it a much more difficult night than expected for Joshua and was shocked when referee Phil Edwards stepped in to call a halt to the bout. The 36-year-old contender demanded a rematch in his post-fight interview following the questionable stoppage.

Though it’s most likely Takam will never get a rematch with Joshua.

Anthony Joshua: possible opponents for 2018

Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn already have plans in place to possibly fight three times in 2018. Promoter Eddie Hearn has already mapped out the potential opponents Joshua could face next year. Among the candidates for possible Joshua opponents in 2018, include WBO titleholder Joseph Parker, WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder, and former champion Tyson Fury. All of these potential bouts can produce a big event in the UK, though a potential bout with Tyson Fury is considered the biggest money fight in the Heavyweight division. Fury intends to return to the ring in 2018 after almost two years out of the sport since dethroning then Heavyweight Kingpin Wladimir Klitschko.

If Fury can get his boxing license to fight again, it leaves the door open for a possible mega bout between Joshua and Fury sometime in 2018.

Potential unification bouts in 2018

In the meantime, there are other opponents and possible unification bouts for Joshua to consider for his first bout in 2018. A mandatory obligation against a top contender may have to be next for Joshua, though it’s unclear at the moment on whom that mandatory may be against.

If Joshua is freed from mandatory obligations, he could pursue a unification bout with WBO Champion Joseph Parker. However, getting a deal in place with Parker’s team could be easier said than done. Parker is coming off shaky performances and is demanding a huge purse to get into the ring with Joshua. A fight with WBC Champion Deontay Wilder would be considered a bigger unification bout, but a making a deal with Wilder’s team could prove to be difficult.

Wilder may demand a split close to 50/50 with Joshua, and while Wilder is undefeated with 37 KO’s in 38 fights, he hasn’t exactly lit the boxing world on fire because of the selection of his opponents, and he’s nowhere near the draw that Anthony Joshua is in Great Britain.

Anthony Joshua may be the biggest draw in boxing

Joshua is the cash cow of the heavyweight division and perhaps the biggest draw in boxing. His dramatic fight with Wladimir Klitschko this past April attracted 90,000 fans at the Wembley Arena in London. His most recent fight with Takam drew 78,000 fans in Cardiff. Joshua is the money man in the division, and all of the top heavyweight contenders will be flocking to him to get their biggest purse to fight him.