Eddie Hearn, promoter for former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, has warned that his boxer is not going to wait forever for a contract to be finalized for a sought-after showdown with Deontay Wilder.

The fight with Wilder was initially targeted for December, but then pushed back to January of 2024 in Saudi Arabia.

However, there has been a big shift with the individuals who control boxing in Saudi Arabia - which in turn has created delays and confusion with finalizing Joshua-Wilder.

The fighters themselves have agreed on the terms, but the financial backers in Saudi are in charge of putting up the money.

"We've agreed the money, we've agreed everything," said Hearn to BBC 5 Live Boxing. "We're waiting on the official contract, but we won't wait forever."

If the negotiations continue to drag out, then Joshua will return to the ring on a date in December - likely outside of the UK.

Joshua saw action in April when he secured a twelve round unanimous decision over Jermaine Frankin, and then returned for the second time in 2023 last month, when he picked up a knockout of Robert Helenius.

"He [Joshua] is just training away but he wants Wilder," added Hearn. "If it can't be made, he wants to stay active. If he fights in December, that'll be three fights in eight months which is incredible for him."

"People keep saying he should have one more fight and then fight Wilder, but we don't think so. If it ends up that way, so be it and nothing would surprise me. If he fights in December, if he fights Deontay Wilder, if he fights Tyson Fury next - nothing would surprise me."

Regarding Joshua's potential next opponent not named Wilder, Hearn could only come up with the names of IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic and former unified champion Andy Ruiz - who is 1-1 with Joshua in their two-fight series.

"There's Filip Hrgovic and there's Andy Ruiz Jr, but it probably won't take place in this country," added Hearn.

"He's had two now on the spin at The O2 Arena, so maybe we go to Madison Square Garden, somewhere in the Middle East. It's just about activity for him."