Joshua, Wilder bout nearly finalised, says Hearn

By Daily Sports Nigeria on August 22, 2023

Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has confirmed that he is expecting a deal for a showdown with Deontay Wilder, who previously held the WBC world title, in a few weeks.

The highly anticipated heavyweight contest is projected to take place next January in Saudi Arabia.

According to Hearn, the only way the fight will not happen is if Skill Challenge Promotion of Saudi Arabia fails to deliver the necessary funds to make the event a reality.

“I think it will be finalised in two weeks,” Hearn told Fight Hub TV.

“I’ve been to Saudi Arabia twice to negotiate this fight. I’ve had two meetings, three meetings in London. I’m not doing it for banter. My instructions from Anthony Joshua, ‘I want to fight Deontay Wilder.’ The only way this fight doesn’t happen is if Saudi doesn’t deliver the fight. Shelly Finkel, Wilder, as far as I’m hearing from them directly, they are in. We are in. We just need to sign a contract and go through the procedures to get that done.”

Joshua has been in the ring twice this year, and for both fights, he had veteran trainer Dereck James in his corner.

In April, he picked up a 12-round unanimous decision win over American Jermaine Franklin. Then earlier this month, he delivered a seventh round knockout victory on late replacement Robert Helenius.

If the deal to face Wilder falls apart, then Joshua will look to fight for a third time in 2023 in the month of December.

“If it doesn’t happen, I think Joshua will fight in December. But I’m not spinning that fight. All of our efforts have been for that fight,” Hearn said.

“Honestly I wouldn’t waste my time flying all around the world trying to pretend that that’s the fight we want. That is the fight we want. It’s a massive fight, massive money, and that is what I have been instructed to deliver for Joshua. We are positive. Like I said, we are in. If it can be delivered, we are in.”

Meanwhile, Helenius who was knocked out in the first round by Wilder, offered his thoughts on a clash between both former champions.

“It’s hard to say, and it’s a little bit too early. I haven’t even thought about that yet, but I think it would be an interesting fight,” Helenius said after the Joshua bout.

“Of course, against Wilder in the first round, it was an accident shot for me. I didn’t think he could fight on his back foot, and he trained for that. So he’s also adapting boxer, so he’s really good. I don’t know, actually. That’s an interesting question. I haven’t thought about it, but it would be a very successful fight for both.”

Source Punch Ng

Posted August 22, 2023


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