Former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has taken to Instagram today to say his next fight is now scheduled to take place in December.

Joshua posted to his Instagram stories: “My next fight is scheduled for December. Not ideal but everything is part of a bigger picture.”

The update comes after both Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn previously insisting the 33-year-old will fight three times in 2023.

It is unclear if the British heavyweight has suffered an injury which has forced his planned fight in July to be pushed back.

Joshua marked his return to the ring last week with a comfortable unanimous decision win against Jermaine Franklin.

The fight was Joshua’s first since he surrendered his unified heavyweight titles in back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022.

Joshua comfortably outpointed Franklin but was unable to stop the American in his first fight back in eight months. Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

In the aftermath of his victory against Franklin, Joshua stated his intentions to be back out within 12 weeks as he continues to acclimatise to new trainer Derrick James.

A rematch with old rival Dillian Whyte was mentioned by Hearn as a frontrunner for the summer but it now appears the London 2012 gold medalist will not return until the end of the year.

Joshua received a wealth of criticism for his performance against Franklin with many accusing the Briton of being too hesitant to let his hands go in pursuit of a knockout.

The two fighters also clashed in the ring after the final bell had sounded before Joshua apologised for the fracas and called for a fight with WBC champion Tyson Fury.

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