Eddie Hearn has confirmed that both parties are onboard for an Anthony Joshua versus Deontay Wilder fight this year.
The two heavyweight careers have been running parallel for many years now. After Olympic success – Gold for ‘AJ’ and Bronze for Wilder – they moved undefeated to the top of the pro pile.
Wilder won his WBC heavyweight title in 2015, and ‘AJ’ followed a year later with the IBF belt. He would go onto add both the WBA and WBO to his collection.
It was at this point that their names were mentioned together, with fans desperate to see an undisputed champion in the division. This, of course, didn’t happen, and they went on to lose the titles to Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
Whilst it may be too late for a four-belt clash, the intrigue remains as to how the rounds play out, and fans are closer than ever to seeing it.
Speaking to Boxing Social, Hearn laid out the plan as he’d like to see it.
“We’re being told that Wilder’s in. And, subject to finalising some of the terms, we’re in. So, in his mind, he’s fighting Deontay Wilder in December. Once that gets papered, we then work backwards to the end of July or first week of August.”
“I want him to fight. I think he wants to fight. I think Derrick James wants him to fight. So we’ve just to pick the right opponent, because what it is is really a preparation for the [Wilder] fight.”
Joshua had announced that he would be skipping a previously-promised summer scrap to move straight towards his winter war, but this seems to have been re-evaluated now. Dillian Whyte was the previous frontrunner, but Hearn is realistic in how they’ll match make.
“My priority right now is secure the Deontay Wilder fight, and every other decision will stem off that.”
The December bout will land in the Middle East, a territory willing to throw huge money to make it happen. The same goes for Usyk versus Fury, however the progress for that pale by comparison to this.
As with ‘AJ’, Wilder is expected to a fight in between now and then, although an opponent is yet to be announced.