Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs), is standing firm. He wants WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) to fight Dillian Whyte next - preferably on February 2 at the O2 Arena in London.
All three heavyweights will be in action in the next two weeks - and all three will have to win to move forward with their big fight plans in 2018.
Joshua defends his belts against Carlos Takam on October 28th in Cardiff. Takam is a late replacement for Kubrat Pulev a few days ago withdrew with a serious shoulder injury. Wilder will defend his title against Bermane Stiverne in a mandatory rematch on November 4 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Also as part of that card, Whyte will face Robert Helenius for the WBC silver title.
Wilder has not interest in facing Whyte and wants a unification with Joshua next.
Hearn has other ideas.
He believes Wilder has yet to face a single serious opponent - and views Whyte as that first serious opponent. Explaining that Wilder needs a serious fight before getting in the ring with someone like Joshua - and said Joshua would be at ringside watching on.
Should Wilder defeat Whyte - then Hearn says he would be more than happy to do a deal for a title unification.
According to Hearn, Wilder is looking for a 50-50 deal to get in the ring with Joshua - and the British promoter makes it clear that Wilder will never, ever get that kind of monetary split.
"The deal in Wilder’s head is a 50-50 split but over my dead body is that ever happening. He hasn’t had a serious fight yet and he needs to fight someone real before he can start making demands. I want him to fight Dillian Whyte at the O2 on February 3. That would be an absolute tear-up. AJ would buy a ringside seat for that," Hearn said.