Anthony Joshua hangs out with ex-Arsenal star Thierry Henry after Sports Personality of the Year nomination... while Barry Hearn amps up Joseph Parker rumours: 'They want the fight'

  • Anthony Joshua is one 12 eyeing the 2017 Sports Personality of the Year award
  • The 28-year-old is competing with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Harry Kane
  • Joshua spent some time with former Arsenal star Thierry Henry on Tuesday
  • Barry Hearn has heated up rumours of Joshua's showdown?with Joseph Parker
  • Hearn said: 'His (Joshua's) message to me was very simple, 'let me at him'

While Anthony Joshua is hopeful of becoming the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year for the first time, the heavyweight champion spent some time with a multi-award winner in former Arsenal star Thierry Henry.

Joshua was announced as part of the 12 British athletes shortlisted for the awards – with the winner to be named on December 17 at Liverpool's Echo Arena – along with the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Harry Kane, Sir Mo Farah and Johanna Konta.

The 28-year-old is the leading favourite for the award at the end of a season that saw him add the IBO World Heavyweight – and WBA Super Heavyweight - titles to his IBF belt with a glorious victory over Wladimir Klitschko in April.

Anthony Joshua takes to Instagram as he hangs out with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry

Anthony Joshua takes to Instagram as he hangs out with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry

And as Joshua looks ahead to more potential glory, the Brit took some time away from the ring to hang out with two-time Premier League winner Henry - before offering the Frenchman a friendly Christmas invitation.?

'Good to see you @thierryhenry P.S. There's a seat for you at the Christmas table,' Joshua wrote on Instagram.?

Henry, who knows what it feels like to soak up the plaudits from his fellow professionals, was named France's footballer of the year five times between 2000 and 2006, whilst simultaneously picking up three PFA awards during the same period.

AJ is celebrating his nomination for the 2017 Sports Personality of the Year awards

AJ is celebrating his nomination for the 2017 Sports Personality of the Year awards

The 28-year-old enjoyed a successful year which saw him win the WBA and IBO World Heavyweight titles with his victory over Wladimir Klitschko in April

SPOTY NOMINEES?

Anthony Joshua (Boxing)

Harry Kane (Football)?

Sir?Mo Farah (Athletics)

Bianca Walkden (Taekwondo)

Adam Peaty (Swimming)

Johanna Konta (Tennis)

Chris Froome (Cycling)

Lewis Hamilton (Formula One)

Anya Shrubsole (Cricket)

Jonathan Rea (Motorcycling)

Elise Christie (Short track speed skating)

Jonnie Peacock (Para-athletics)

But while national acclaim for his efforts throughout 2017 will undoubtedly be near the top of Joshua's lists of targets - alongside becoming a billionaire boxer of course - he will have one eye firmly on a potential 2018 unification showdown with Joseph Parker come the ceremony on Merseyside in just over a fortnight.

According to Sky Sports, Joshua is eager for a crack at Parker, who holds another piece of the extremely complex puzzle that is world boxing - the WBO heavyweight title.?

Barry Hearn, chairman of promotion company Matchroom Sport, said: 'We are single digits, percentages away right now, and we have to be creative. We have to look at the revenue streams. We are already talking about potential venues, potential dates, so it's a good sign.

'I believe they want the fight. They have done a good job on Anthony Joshua, because his message to me last night was very simple, 'let me at him.'?

Barry Hearn has backed a potential showdown between AJ and Joseph Parker (right)
Parker has called Joshua out on numerous occasions as he hopes to unify their belts

Barry Hearn has backed a potential showdown between AJ and Joseph Parker (right)

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