Joshua v Parker: Talks to begin over Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder unification fight says Barry Hearn

Joshua and Wilder
Joshua and Wilder

Negotiations to get Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder in the ring for a huge world heavyweight unification fight will begin this week, according to Barry Hearn.

Negotiations to get Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder in the ring for a huge world heavyweight unification fight will begin this week, according to Barry Hearn.

Joshua was solid if unspectacular in his points victory over Joseph Parker, which saw him add the WBO title to his WBA and IBF belts.


Who will Joshua fight next? (Sky Bet odds)


It now leaves just Wilder’s WBC title to make Joshua the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, and Hearn expects talks to start right away to set up that monster showdown.

Hearn, chairman and founder of Joshua's promoters Matchroom, spoke to BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme to give his thoughts on the potential match-up.

"I think negotiations will start next week,” said Hearn. “It is a fight Anthony Joshua really wants and I think he wants it this year."

Negotiations with the Wilder camp have been tricky to say the least, with Eddie Hearn saying they’ve not been in touch about the potential dust-up. Wilder, though, seemed to accept the challenge with his social media response to the fight.

Joshua has said he would like the bout to take place in the United Kingdom but Hearn senior is not ruling out the possibility of it happening in the United States if the terms are right.

Matchroom view Joshua as a much bigger drawing card in the UK than Wilder is in the US. Taking Joshua across the Atlantic would be more about promoting Joshua in the US than acceding to Wilder demands.

"Anthony Joshua wants all the belts - that is the big card Deontay Wilder has got to play (but) commercially, Joshua is far bigger than Deontay Wilder.

"I think Wilder would come over here because in the world we live in, in boxing, the couple of million dollars Wilder is getting for a fight is pretty small fry in comparison to the rewards that await him for a Joshua fight. Travelling is not usually a problem if the money is right.

Anthony Joshua with his growing collection of belts
Anthony Joshua with his growing collection of belts

"But I still think in the long term, if Anthony sits down and thinks it through, he may come to the decision that to be a truly global sport star he needs to go to America - not just for the money - but, in terms of the brand value of AJ, fighting in America is going to be on his horizon.

"I wouldn't rule out AJ fighting in America despite his comments last night."

Joshua and Wilder may have one more fight each before facing each other - Dillian Whyte is also in the mix after his demolition of Lucas Browne cemented his standing as the mandatory challenger for Wilder.

Alexander Povetkin, meanwhile, is the mandatory challenger for Joshua after his brutal knockout win over David Price.

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