Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), believes they have finally got WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) boxed in.
As long as everyone wins their upcoming fights, Hearn believes Wilder will be forced to fight one of his boxers before the year is out.
Hearn's other fighter, Dillian Whyte, is the number one ranked challenger to Wilder's title.
Whether it's Joshua or Whyte, Hearn feels confident that Wilder will have to face a Matchroom fighter in 2018.
“I think we’ve got him cornered, is a good way to put it. Eventually Dillian will be the mandatory for Deontay Wilder, when that is called. Obviously he’s just boxed his mandatory [Bermane Stiverne] so you’re looking normally at like nine months. So it probably won’t be called till September. Will Dillian fight in the summer? Possibly. But I think we’ve got Wilder cornered. If he doesn’t want to fight Joshua, he’s going to have to fight Dillian Whyte,” Hearn told Boxing News.
All three fighters are scheduled for action in the month of March.
Wilder will defend his belt against Luis Ortiz on March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Joshua will unify his titles with WBO world champion Joseph Parker on March 31 at Principality in Cardiff, Wales. And Whyte will take on former WBA 'regular' world champion Lucas Browne on March 24 at the O2 Arena in London.
“I’m almost certain Joshua-Wilder will happen this year. It’s just whether it’s in the summer or November, December. We may box in the summer, depending on how the Parker fight goes. Whether that’s Wilder or not, we’ll see,” Hearn said.
“I want Dillian to fight for the world title and Joshua wants to fight Whyte as well. Every time he gets asked the question ‘who else would you like to fight?’ he says Wilder, Whyte, you know.”