A final decision on the world heavyweight champion’s next opponent will not be reached immediately, however, as talks rumble on with three options.
Deontay Wilder, Alexander Povetkin and Jarrell Miller are the candidates being discussed.
WBC champion Wilder remains the priority for both Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn. Fighting Wilder would give Joshua the opportunity to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion, owning all four major belts, in just his 22nd fight.
Last Saturday Joshua was optimistic, telling Sky Sports: “The fight is going to happen. Ninety-five percent this year.”
“We’ve got a long time to finalise it, because it will [potentially happen at the end of the year]. We’re working tirelessly on it.
“I’m really interested in that fight.”
Talks with Wilder’s representatives date back to last year, before Joshua agreed a fight with Joseph Parker in which he unified the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
Negotiations ramped up last month when Wilder and Shelly Finkel, who represents the 40-0 American, publicised a $50 million offer to Joshua.
“Positive conversations” have since taken place, Hearn told Sky Sports last week, who rated the likelihood of Joshua vs Wilder taking place next at “70 percent”.
Joshua will be informed on Tuesday about the progress of these negotiations – in the past week, Hearn has requested further detail from Wilder’s representatives about their proposal.
The location of a possible fight remains unresolved, for example.
“I want the fight in the UK and they want it in America,” Joshua said last Saturday.
Povetkin is the second choice because he is the mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBA title.
The governing body would sanction an undisputed world title fight between Joshua and Wilder but, if it cannot be agreed, they would likely request Povetkin to challenge for the belt.
“We are talking to Povetkin because he is the guy we’ll have to fight if we don’t fight Wilder,” Hearn told Sky Sports last week.
The Russian’s only defeat in 35 fights was a world title challenge against Wladimir Klitschko five years ago. Most recently he knocked out David Price on the Joshua-Parker undercard.
“I believe that Joshua will follow and cooperate with the rules of the sanctioning bodies for the titles that he holds,” Povetkin’s promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy exclusively told Sky Sports last month.
Miller, unbeaten in 22, is seen as an option to welcome Joshua to the United States for the first time.
‘Big Baby’ Miller could get the nod if his home city, New York, is targeted for Joshua’s US debut.
Joshua could box in the autumn against any of his three options but would wait until December, it is expected, if he can find an agreement with Wilder.