Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn has denied suggestions that Anthony Joshua will pursue the IBF world title instead of a showdown with Deontay Wilder.
Joshua’s decision to face Otto Wallin on December 23 means that victory will position him for a shot at the IBF crown, which is likely to be vacated after Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk, against Filip Hrgovic.
As a result, some fans have doubted Hearn’s claims that he is fully focused on making the ever-illusive showdown against ‘The Bronze Bomber’.
However, WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman, has confirmed that Joshua-Wilder is expected to be a final eliminator for the WBC belt, with the winner landing another mouth-watering contest against the victor of Fury-Usyk.
In an interview with Boxing Social, Hearn outlined that Joshua-Wilder does not hinge on any incentives from the sanctioning body, instead confirming that he simply wants to make ‘the biggest fight in boxing’ regardless of it’s future benefits.
“It’s very likely that after Fury-Usyk, if that happens, the belts will fragment, particularly the IBF. If that fragments and Joshua beats Wallin on December 23rd, it would be Hrgovic against Joshua [for the IBF world title], but by then it’s very likely that Joshua-Wilder could be contracted and probably will be contracted.”
“We won’t be able to u-turn at that point, we’re full steam ahead trying to make the Wilder fight and a WBC final eliminator, if that’s what it’s called, but I’d just call it the biggest fight in boxing. When that fight happens, and the only way that fight happens is if they both win on December 23rd on the same card, if they do win on the same card on the same night, that fight is the biggest fight in boxing.”
First, ‘AJ’ and Wilder must defeat Wallin and Joseph Parker on December 23 to keep remaining hopes of the match-up alive.