JOSHUA-WILDER SET FOR WEM­B­LEY DUEL

Hearn flies out to nail down clash for Deon­tay’s WBC belt

Daily Mail - - Sports - By RIATH ALSAMARRAI

ED­DIE HEARN will res­ur­rect talks this week over a uni­fi­ca­tion show­down be­tween his man An­thony Joshua and Deon­tay Wilder next spring — but has not ruled out an al­ter­na­tive clash with Tyson Fury in April if Wilder and Fury fail to agree an im­me­di­ate re­match.

Joshua’s pro­moter flew from Lon­don to Los An­ge­les on Mon­day for dis­cus­sions re­lat­ing to a num­ber of his fighters, but high on his agenda is the im­me­di­ate fu­ture of the IBF, WBA and WBO heavy­weight cham­pion.

Hearn has Wem­b­ley Sta­dium re­served for April 13 and will speak with Wilder’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives this week and next in an ef­fort to thrash out a deal af­ter numer­ous set­backs in the ne­go­ti­a­tions over the past year.

It is un­der­stood that a fight with Dil­lian Whyte re­mains the most likely op­tion for Joshua (right) in April — an out­come de­pen­dent on Whyte beat­ing Dereck Chisora this month — but Hearn says the con­tentious draw be­tween WBC cham­pion Wilder and Fury in LA on Satur­day has in­creased the chances of a break­through in the Wilder- Joshua talks.

Speak­ing ahead of his flight to LA, Hearn told Sports­mail: ‘First we need to find out what is hap­pen­ing with a Wilder-Fury re­match and whether the re­match clause we are hear­ing about is what it seems.

‘If any­thing, the way that fight went on Satur­day works in our favour in terms of get­ting Wilder. That has al­ways been the fight we want be­cause he has the last belt. Now, let’s say he had beat Fury in two rounds — the ne­go­ti­a­tion will be a lot harder than af­ter a draw where many think he was lucky to keep his WBC ti­tle.

‘It might also be the case that Wilder fan­cies his chances in a punch- out with AJ rather than another go at Fury. As far as AJ is con­cerned, he will fight any­one. He would love Wilder next and he has al­ways wanted Fury.

‘I am go­ing out to LA and we will talk (with Wilder’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives) this week. It is a fight we def­i­nitely want for April and will work hard to make.’

An April fight is pos­si­ble af­ter Wilder re­it­er­ated his will­ing­ness to make it hap­pen, but there is a strong clam­our for an im­me­di­ate re­match with Fury. Both fighters ex­pressed their de­sire to go again af­ter the thriller and Fury’s pro­moter Frank War­ren has started talks to make the sec­ond bout fol­low­ing his com­plaint to the WBC over the scor­ing at the week­end.

If those talks prove fruit­less, Hearn, as well as push­ing for his pre­ferred op­tion of Joshua-Wilder, will also look at a deal for Joshua-Fury. That seems am­bi­tious in the time­frame and the length of pro­mo­tion that such a big fight would in­evitably bring.

Hearn said: ‘Be­fore we were look­ing at Deon­tay Wilder, Dil­lian Whyte or Dereck Chisora if he beats Whyte for April 13. Now we can put Fury on that list. I have spo­ken to Joshua since Satur­day and his po­si­tion is un­changed — he be­lieves he will stop any­one put in front of him.

‘I was very im­pressed with Fury on Satur­day. I had him win­ning the fight by two rounds. But we dis­agree when peo­ple say Joshua isn’t the main man in the di­vi­sion any more and we look for­ward to him demon­strat­ing it again.’

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