Aussie McKean eyed for Joshua return bout

Leading boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has namechecked Queenslander Demsey McKean as a potential opponent for former world champion Anthony Joshua.

The British heavyweight has agreed to return to the ring on April 1 following consecutive losses to Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk.

Matchroom Boxing chairman Hearn told AAP last year he wanted to "fill the Gabba" for a title bout but has indicated Joshua's next fight would be at London's O2 Arena.

British reports have suggested the 32-year-old McKean (22-0) will be Joshua's opponent, with Hearn confirming the Australian was in the frame.

"Speculation is rife with various different people - Otto Wallin, Demsey McKean," Hearn told IFL TV.

"He (Joshua) will be fighting a real fight against a quality heavyweight. That (deal) is being closed at the moment."

Hearn hoped Joshua's next bout would be a springboard towards him becoming a three-time world champion and setting up salivating bouts with fellow countryman Tyson Fury and American slugger Deontay Wilder.

The promoter claimed in the same interview that if the April fight were to backfire, Joshua's hopes of regaining his place at the top table would be left in ruins.

"You know that with defeat, it's all over, really. It would be a third back-to-back defeat," he said.

"This is the most excited I have been on AJ's journey so far.

"A great performance and a showreel knockout gets everyone saying, 'We're back, we're back baby'.

"That's what I can't wait for, because I love it when our backs are against the wall. They are the best moments and this is one of those moments."