November 26, 2020, 21:57


Anthony Joshua is ‘100 per cent’ focused on facing Deontay Wilder next, insists Eddie Hearn

Anthony Joshua is ‘100 per cent’ focused on facing Deontay Wilder next, insists Eddie Hearn

0:58

Eddie Hearn is hopeful a deal can be agreed soon for Anthony Joshua to fight Deontay Wilder in April

Eddie Hearn insists Anthony Joshua is “100 per cent” focused on fighting Deontay Wilder next, and is hopeful a deal can be agreed in the coming weeks.

Joshua retained his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles with a devastating knockout of Alexander Povetkin on Saturday.

Many hoped it would be Wilder in the ring, rather than Povetkin, last weekend but the two sides were unable to find agreement after prolonged negotiations.

Wilder instead signed to defend his WBC title against Tyson Fury on December 1.

Before that fight takes place Hearn hopes to agree a deal for Joshua to face Wilder in April, subject to the American beating Fury.

1:01

Highlights: Anthony Joshua knocks out Alexander Povetkin

And he revealed his father, Barry Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Promotions, will travel meet Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel in the coming weeks to reopen negotiations.

Hearn told Sky Sports: “We have got a couple of months. We have made it quite clear we don’t want to wait until December 1 to see what happens. We want to get a deal in place to know before then.

“My old man is going to sit down with Shelly [Finkel] in early October to try and talk through a deal.

“We have sent them the signed contract on all the terms that they agreed. They did not reply and they obviously did not send it back either.

“So we just want to know what they want now. They agreed to that before. If they do not agree to that now, then no problem. Let’s try and make a deal, subject to you winning in December.

“The absolute sole focus for us right now is to fight Deontay Wilder for the undisputed title in April.

“Obviously if Fury wins, then he will have a rematch clause with Wilder so they are both out. Then we may step into a WBO mandatory with Dillian Whyte.

“But the focus is Wilder – 100 per cent – and there is no reason why we cannot get a deal in place subject to him winning in December. “

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