By Keith Idec
If promoter Eddie Hearn and Deontay Wilder’s team can close a deal for an Anthony Joshua-Wilder showdown, Hearn wants to bring their huge heavyweight title fight to London’s Wembley Stadium.
According to Wilder’s co-manager, Shelly Finkel, the unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion has agreed to battle Joshua in the United Kingdom, where each of Joshua’s past three fights have drawn crowds of at least 78,000 to stadiums.
The British superstar’s epic back-and-forth slugfest with Wladimir Klitschko attracted an enormous crowd of approximately 90,000 to Wembley Stadium in April 2017.
Joshua-Wilder would likely sell out Wembley Stadium again. England’s Joshua wants to fight Wilder at Wembley Stadium, which has a retractable roof.
“We see this as a Wembley fight and we’re quite limited in that respect,” Hearn told Sky Sports on Tuesday. “Obviously, American TV and pay-per-view has to be considered. We’ve got to speak to them about what date suits them. There is a lot still to work out.
“I think Wembley is where Anthony Joshua wants it to take place. Obviously a brilliant night against Wladimir Klitschko. It seems a natural home.”
Hearn, who’s Joshua’s promoter, initially thought Joshua-Wilder could take place sometime in September, if it were to happen next.
Now that Canelo Alvarez is committed to fighting September 15, perhaps in a middleweight championship rematch against Gennady Golovkin, Hearn considers undetermined dates in October or November more likely for a Joshua-Wilder clash.
Joshua’s past two fights have taken place at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
The 6-feet-6, 250-pound Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) stopped Cameroon’s Carlos Takam in the 10th round there October 28. Joshua returned to Principality Stadium on March 31, when he out-boxed New Zealand’s Joseph Parker to win a unanimous decision in their heavyweight title unification fight.
“Our original plan and hope was to do it in the middle of September,” Hearn said. “But obviously this Canelo fight on September 15 makes it a little more difficult with U.S. TV. And the fact that we’ve lost four weeks in waiting for an answer from Deontay Wilder makes the fight happening in 11 or 12 weeks of this magnitude unlikely. If it is before Povetkin, then it runs on October or November.”
If Joshua doesn’t fight Wilder next, he’ll make a mandatory defense of his WBA title against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs). The 6-feet-7, 220-pound Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, doesn’t have a mandatory defense of his WBC title due and wants to challenge Joshua next.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.