Eddie Hearn, promoter for WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, says he is not surprised that WBC champion Deontay Wilder will not be ringside this coming Saturday night.
Last week, Wilder's co-manager, Shelly Finkel, said his boxer will not be ringside for Joshua's fight with Andy Ruiz on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
A week back, Wilder crushed mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale with a first round knockout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Hearn believes Wilder is going to face Luis Ortiz in a rematch in the coming months, and being ringside for Joshua would create a lot of pressure on Wilder to face the British star next.
If Wilder is not available, there is no word on what Hearn will do as a Plan B for his fighter, since Oleksandr Usyk is recovering from an injury and will not be interested in facing Joshua in his first bout at heavyweight.
"I think because Deontay knows he’s not going to fight Joshua, or he doesn’t want to fight Joshua, there’s going to be a lot of pressure on him,’ Hearn told IFL TV.
"If he’s there, we’re going to put it on him, the media are going to put it on him and the fans are going to put it on him. And if he knows he’s fighting Ortiz, there probably isn’t a huge amount of point in him going to be honest. But I hope he goes.
"What can we do? We want the undisputed fight, we can’t make it any clearer. I don’t care about Deontay Wilder, we’ve got to care about Andy Ruiz. Next week, Britain takes over Madison Square Garden and America get to see Anthony Joshua live and up close. All I care about is Joshua-Ruiz. Once that’s dealt with, and touch wood AJ gets the win, we’ll move on and push as hard as we can for that fight [against Wilder]."