The biggest rematch in recent heavyweight history is happening.
Even though Wladimir Klitschko hasn’t announced his official decision just yet, Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that a venue is being booked and that the fight is going to happen.
“We’re looking at all the potential sites for the rematch. It’s not really a case of them having to let us know by a certain date. For us, it’s happening. Until [Klitschko] turns round and says ‘no, I’m retiring,’ we’re full steam ahead. At the moment all I can tell you is that it’s happening because we haven’t heard otherwise,” said Hearn in an interview with boxingnewsonline.com
Joshua stopped Klitschko in the eleventh round last April and unified the WBA and IBF titles. While Klitschko did suffer his second defeat in a row, Hearn is certain that the money is too good for the Ukrainian to pass.
“Bernd [Boente, Klitschko’s manager] has got a meeting with him this week. The number of offers we’ve had come in from other sites means the money’s so big, I can’t see him not taking it. Even away from the money I think he wants it, I think he looks back and thinks he had Josh in the fifth or sixth. A lot of people gave him a lot of props for it, so why not,” told Hearn.
There has been a lot of talk about the IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev facing Joshua next but that seems unlikely. Hearn has asked ‘a special exception’ from the IBF to put the fight against Pulev on the sidelines until the rematch is settled. The promoter is confident that the IBF will grant him his wish.
“I’m confident. We have to fight Pulev, we know we’ve got to fight him. If we don’t fight him next, we’ll fight him afterwards,” he said.
It’s expected that Klitschko will make his official announcement in the coming days or weeks.