Anthony Joshua appeared to outline his ambition to become a three-time world heavyweight champion as he posed for a picture celebrating the start of the New Year.
The Brit, 32, avenged his first career defeat with a unanimous decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr. in December 2019 to become a two-time unified champ.
But he lost his WBA, WBO and IBF belts for the second time in September 2021 as Oleksandr Usyk produced a stunning performance to win by a convincing margin on all three judges’ scorecards.
Joshua is set for a rematch with the Ukrainian this spring, presenting him with the chance to make amends for his second loss.
And winning back the belts was clearly on his mind as he celebrated New Year’s Eve in Dubai on Friday night.
Joshua held up three fingers as he posed for a picture in front of a firework show in the Middle Eastern state and captioned it “2022” with a bang emoji.
The Watford native last fought at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, expects his rematch with Usyk will take place on home soil in April before at least one other bout in 2022.
“Obviously not much other than we got to get together and decide a date. April is realistic for that fight and where it’s going to be,” Hearn told IFL TV.
“AJ is the type that fights twice a year, and sometimes we feel like it would be nice to fight three times a year. We’ve had offers from around the world, but I think the UK will stage that fight.”
“And we’ll get Christmas out of the way and we’ll start moving forward with that because it’s time to start planning for that.
“Obviously, there were a couple of discussions about step asides and those kinds of fights. So we’ll have to see. But that looks very unlikely now because obviously of the Dillian Whyte situation, which AJ is pleased about.
“He didn’t want to have those conversations unless I presented them to him. So if that’s not the case, he moves forward with what he wants, which is the Oleksandr Usyk rematch.”