Anthony Joshua is set to return to the ring this December following his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last month, regardless of whether his bout with Tyson Fury is finalised or not. Joshua was initially set to take on Fury on December 3 in Cardiff.

However, the Gypsy King has thrown the fight into dispute following a number of social media blasts, which included him claiming that the bout was off due to Joshua’s team not signing the contract before Monday’s deadline. Fury then addressed fans on social media to reveal his promoter Frank Warren ‘convinced’ him to give Joshua more time.

In another twist, the WBC heavyweight champion then added on Friday that the fight was once again off after claiming Joshua had ‘ducked his way out’ with Fury now reportedly taking on Mahmoud Charr. Amid all the drama between the two Brits, Joshua is set to still take to the ring after Matchroom boss Frank Smith confirmed they were looking at other options.

If the Battle of Britain is indeed off, here are four heavyweights Joshua could take on instead.

Zhang Zhilei

First up is Chinese star Zhang Zhilei. Zhilei has made no secret of his want to take on Joshua, claiming the pair could battle it out at the famous Birds Nest stadium in Beijing. Per FightMag he said: “I would love to fight AJ in China because of our amateur backgrounds.The venue is there, the Bird’s Nest holds 100,000, so we have it all.

“Beijing and Shanghai are the biggest cities, very economically developed and boxing in China is growing. The sports fans there like boxing, they like AJ, so if we can make it happen it would be huge for boxing.”

Martin Bakole

Another option for AJ is heavyweight brute Martin Bakole. As exclusively reported by Express Sport, Bakole’s coach Billy Nelson revealed that his man and Joshua could recreate the famed ‘rumble in the jungle’ fight by competing for the title of ‘King of Africa’.

On setting up a potential heavyweight bout in Congo, Nelson said: “This can be who’s the real king of Africa, that’s how they would try to sell it. The biggest fight in history was the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire. Martin was born in Kananga and educated in Kinshasa and that’s where that fight was. I know for a fact that the Congolese government will back it one hundred per cent. I’ve been told by the government that they would back an Anthony Joshua fight in Congo.

Revealing that he had already made an offer to Joshua’s team – with little luck – he went on: “AJ would get the money that he demands because the government would help out. You’d get huge sponsors over in Africa as well. I did offer it to 258 (Joshua’s management) but they weren’t interested.”

Filip Hrgovic

One man who also after a clash with the British boxer is Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic. After featuring on AJ’s undercard with Oleksandr Usyk and beating Zhilei, Hrgovic now seemingly has his eye on the former heavyweight champion.

Discussing who he wants his man to fight next, the Croatian’s promoter, Nisse Sauerland said: “I would prefer Filip to fight Joshua, simply stylistically. They are both big, strong guys but Filip can move more and is less robotic… Joshua is a powerhouse, he’s an Adonis. But if I had to pick someone stylistically for Filip? I would pick Joshua.”