JOSHUA-WILDER SET FOR WEMBLEY DUEL
Hearn flies out to nail down clash for Deontay’s WBC belt
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.’