Hearn: Joshua-Wilder Must Happen Before Mandatory Orders

Eddie Hearn, who promotes IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua, says a unification with WBC champion Deontay Wilder needs to happen right now - because sooner than later the sanctioning bodies will begin ordering Joshua to make mandatory defenses.

While Hearn was attempting to make a Joshua-Wilder fight a few months ago, the WBA ordered the British boxer to face Alexander Povetkin in a mandatory defense.

And Povetkin was knocked out by Joshua in seven rounds in September, at Wembley Stadium in London.


Joshua is scheduled to return on April 13 at Wembley, and Wilder is the top target for the date.

But Wilder is targeting a rematch with unbeaten Tyson Fury. The two big men fought to a controversial twelve round split draw on December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. 

If Wilder goes through with the Fury rematch, then Hearn fears that Joshua will be tied up with mandatories. Of course a unification could trump a mandatory obligation if the two sides ever reach an agreement. 

"Another reason why the undisputed title fight must happen now is because, sooner or later, we'll have different mandatory challengers," Hearn said to Sky Sports.

"And they might be fights that no one has an interest in. Wladimir Klitschko did that for years except he took the fights that no one had an interest in. Keep defending, keep defending - but you build a poor resume and AJ isn't interested in that. He wants the big fights."

If Wilder is removed from the running, then Dillian Whyte has a “very, very good” chance of being Joshua’s next challenger, according to Hearn.

“Dillian deserves a world title shot and he’s in his prime or approaching his prime, and that’s the time to fight. Him and ‘AJ’ is a brilliant fight," Hearn said.

“We haven’t got long (to make Joshua’s next fight). I’m sure we’ll be on the phone to Dillian within the next week. The priority is he wants to fight Wilder, but I don’t believe that will happen. If it’s an April 13 date at Wembley you’ll need it on sale at the end of January. He’s 80 percent likely to fight at Wembley on April 13."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Jax teller on 01-04-2019

[QUOTE=champion4ever;19407466]That's not making things up. Here are the facts, Team Wilder waited for four months to get that Joshua/Wilder fight to push though but all Team Joshua did was stall and delay the fight because there were never any real…

Comment by Ray* on 01-04-2019

It’s ok unifying the belts comes before mandatory. I think the WBC can do what they did with GGG and Canelo here again, kinda like make Joshua the mandatory. Which would force Wilder into negotiating for the fight or drop…

Comment by champion4ever on 01-04-2019

[QUOTE=Kezzer;19407345]So wilder fans are just making stuff up to defend their boy now? Simple facts are that wilder never agreed anything. Wilder has now said quite openly he is ducking any potential fight with Joshua. So let’s move on, we…

Comment by Phenom on 01-04-2019

[QUOTE=Kezzer;19407345] Let’s get one thing absolutely clear also. If any wilder fanboys on here are criticizing any such Whyte fight if it occurs please don’t try defending Brezeale against Wilder if that match up is made because we all know…

Comment by Kezzer on 01-04-2019

[QUOTE=champion4ever;19393205]Wait, hold on dawg! Let's back up. It was Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua who was pretending to catch a bull by its horn by offering Wilder a $12.5mil flat flee. Then Wilder turned around and countered with a $50mil…

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