By Keith Idec
Eddie Hearn wants to have a deal in place with Deontay Wilder’s handlers for an Anthony Joshua-Wilder fight before Wilder faces Tyson Fury on December 1.
Hearn’s rationale is that he doesn’t want to wait until December 2 to begin negotiating again with Wilder’s adviser, Al Haymon, and co-manager, Shelly Finkel, because based on their previous negotiations Hearn knows it’ll be a complicated process to finalize a deal for England’s Joshua and Alabama’s Wilder to meet in a heavyweight title unification fight April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London.
That deal would be contingent, Hearn said, on Wilder winning his fight against Fury at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Joshua’s promoter has no plans of having a similar deal in place with British rival Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter, in the event Fury defeats Wilder. Hearn presumes Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) will owe Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) an immediate rematch if he wins the WBC heavyweight title from him and thus wouldn’t be available to battle Joshua on April 13.
“No, no, because he’ll have a rematch clause,” Hearn explained during the post-fight press conference following Joshua’s seventh-round stoppage of Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night. “So if Fury wins – good luck to him – it’s not really what we want because we wanna fight Wilder. But again, we get the negotiations done [with Wilder], we get the deal in place for April, subject to victory. And if they don’t wanna do that, then we fight someone else in April, and then we box again in November or December. [Joshua is] not going anywhere.”
A Joshua-Fury fight would do huge business in the United Kingdom. Stylistically, though, Hearn thinks Joshua-Wilder is much more fascinating fight.
“It could be one of the biggest fights in all-time boxing history,” Hearn said of Joshua-Wilder. “It’ll definitely be the biggest fight in British boxing history because we’ve just had one against Wladimir Klitschko [in April 2017 at Wembley Stadium]. That was the biggest fight in British boxing history, unquestionably, and the most exciting. This one will eclipse that.”
A crowd in excess of 80,000 attended the card headlined by Joshua’s victory over Russia’s Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs), who was the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBA title. Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) knocked down Povetkin twice in the seventh round on his way to becoming the first fight to stop the former WBA champion.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.