A punch-up between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder has been promised to fans this year, but recent developments have set talks back considerably.
Originally negotiating with Skill Challenge Entertainment, the fight was first set for December, and then early next year. It seemed to have been pulled entirely recently when there was a shift in Saudi Arabia’s boxing landscape.
That left two men that want to fight, but no lucrative site fee to host them, but promoter Eddie Hearn told Boxing Social that he is still doing everything to make it happen.
“I’ll give you one name – Deontay Wilder. I had good conversations with Shelly Finkel yesterday, we want to make the fight with them. Obviously we received an offer, we accepted the offer, as did Deontay Wilder, and now, at the moment, we can’t move forward with that.”
Hearn – who has overseen Joshua’s career since he turned professional – then confirmed that there are new offers on the table.
“But we do have other offers that have come in, and we have other opportunities to do that in other locations. I made it clear to Shelly last night that we want to make the fight. We’ll speak to AJ about a couple of offers that have come in. Hopefully we can go straight into that.”
The promoter said one was from the Middle East, although wouldn’t elaborate. He has also previously mentioned looking at the numbers for the event and its potential in both the UK and Las Vegas.
“In the Middle East, yes. Not commenting any further. We have to digest them. We have to speak to them about when that fight would take place. Obviously originally it was January, it’s now talks of potentially February or March. Do we fight in December? Lots to discuss, but as far as names go it remains Deontay Wilder.”
As of writing, neither Joshua or Wilder have decided on whether or not to take a fight in the interim as these talks progress.