Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), has revealed that his most recent discussions to make a showdown with WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) have been very positive.
The two sides have been haggling over the money in recent weeks.
Initially, Hearn issued an offer of $12.5 million to Wilder - which the unbeaten champion and his team felt was far too low.
Team Wilder countered with a guaranteed offer of $50 million.
Hearn and Joshua wanted to proof of funds - which they apparently received from Wilder co-manager Shelly Finkel.
The two sides have been in communication over the past two days, with very positive talks, and Hearn believes the fight is now much closer to coming off.
Asked how likely the fight was to be agreed, Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports: “70 percent.”
“Their side has been very vocal in letting the media know about everything that is happening. We’ve had some positive conversations over the past day or so. Negotiations are ongoing and we’re all hopeful to reach an agreement."
Hearn issued some additional questions to Team Wilder, which the British promoter believes will be a true turning point in getting a deal wrapped up.
" I will go back with some very simple questions, which hopefully they can answer, to put us in a position to know whether it is worth talking. We sent them [on Tuesday] night. They can’t not answer those questions. I believe they want to make the fight," Hearn said.
If a deal is not reached for whatever reason, Joshua will likely make a mandatory defense against Alexander Povetkin of Russia.
The WBA recently ordered Joshua to make a mandatory defense against Povetkin.
“Povetkin is the guy we have to fight next,” Hearn explained. “If we fight Wilder, Povetkin will wait. Would we apply for a voluntary? Maybe. Would the WBA allow it? Maybe. But, really, it is Wilder or Povetkin. We are talking to Miller, but mainly we are talking to Povetkin because he is the guy we’ll have to fight if we don’t fight Wilder.”