Eddie Hearn, promoter for heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte, says the boxer must bank an impressive victory against Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night.
Whyte, who suffered knockout defeats in two of his last three fights, is looking to position himself for a major fight in 2023.
In order to secure a major fight, like a rematch with Anthony Joshua, Hearn cautions that Whyte needs to win this fight in style.
“The winner of the Franklin fight is probably frontrunner to take on Anthony Joshua in the first fight of 2023,” said Hearn to Metro.co.uk. “He wants to fight Deontay Wilder, he would love another crack at Fury, he wants Usyk, Joyce, Dubois.
“You’ve got four or five fights left, really, and he just wants to face all of those guys, but he needs to have a big win against Franklin and he needs to impress and show he has a lot left.”
Even if Whyte is successful, he is not necessarily going to be the next opponent for Joshua.
There is a possibility that Joshua, who is coming off back to back decision losses to Oleksandr Usyk, will take a stay-busy fight in February – and then face Whyte in the summer.
“AJ’s going to come back in late February, or he will wait for a bigger fight,” Hearn said. “If he waits, he’ll go straight into the Dillian Whyte fight. If not, we’ll still do that but in the summer after AJ’s fight in February.
“AJ’s not interested in a couple of knock-over jobs, he’s never done it. They all say the same thing: ‘Give me the biggest fight out there.’ Franklin’s fighting to beat Dillian and then face AJ.”