By Elliot Foster
Eddie Hearn has said that he intends to go back to the negotiation table with the team of Deontay Wilder regarding a potential fight.
The promoter of Anthony Joshua watched his man come through a first-round scare at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night as the Olympic gold medallist retained his unified world heavyweight champion status with a seventh-round stoppage.
Joshua wants to fight the WBC champion when he returns to the ring on April 13 at the home of England football and Hearn, who was up and down at ringside while witnessing Joshua’s win over his WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, wants to try and make the fight happen for the second time.
"Joshua's a real world champion, we will go away now and try and make a fight with [Deontay] Wilder,” said Hearn. “We’ve already tried once – we signed a contract, they didn’t – and now he’s fighting [former unified world champion Tyson] Fury.
"This was about getting that big banana skin of Alexander Povetkin out the way.”
Hearn went on to say that Joshua, who also retained his WBO, IBF and IBO titles with victory over Povetkin, would fight in the spring regardless of whether he faces the undefeated American Wilder or not.
"If it's not Deontay Wilder then it will be [Dillian] Whyte on April 13.
"Joshua is a player in this game, the one stepping up and taking on great fighters.”
A rematch between Joshua and Whyte has been clamoured for since the pair, who were amateur rivals, met in a clash for the vacant British heavyweight title at the O2 Arena back in December 2015.
Joshua stopped Whyte in the seventh of 12 scheduled rounds that night but, like against Povetkin, had to come through a sticky patch to do so.
Since losing to 28-year-old Joshua, Whyte has been undefeated and now has a record of 24-1 with 17 early. He has also picked up the WBC Silver title, won and relinquished that aforementioned British belt and is the number one challenger for Wilder’s WBC belt.
And though Hearn represents the pair, he has hailed the AJ effect.
"He is a special talent and a great role model. There was a lot of pressure on this fight and Alexander Povetkin is a great fighter.”