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IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirms that he will be meeting this week with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber’ Wilder’s advisers Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel to plan a unification fight for 2018.
Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) is one of the 2 heavyweight champions the 27-year-old Joshua is targeting for 2018 to try and unify the division. The other belt holder is WBO champion Joseph Parker (25-0, 18 KOs), who could possibly be Joshua’s next opponent in the first quarter of 2018 if a deal can be hammered out between his promoter and Hearn.
Hearn was saying this week that he hadn’t been contacted by Wilder’s management to put together a fight between him and Joshua. However discussions will start this week as Haymon and Finkel are meeting with Hearn later this week to begin negotiations, he now can’t say that he’s had no contact with them. It’ll now be up to Hearn to show that he’s got the skills to put together a deal that will make both fighters’ happy. Hearn says he doesn’t know how much of a cut of the revenue Wilder’s management wants for a fight with Joshua.
”I’m sitting down with [Wilder’s representatives] Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon later this week to have our first conversations regarding Joshua vs. Wilder,” Hearn said to skysports.com. ”Hopefully we can find somewhere between reality and fantasy that suits all.”
Joshua wants the WBA and WBO titles, so it means Hearn will need to strike a deal with the promoters for Parker and Wilder if he wants to keep his fighter happy. As we’ve already seen, Joshua can still make big money defending his IBF and WBA heavyweight titles. He doesn’t necessarily need to add the WBC and WBO titles for him to make big time cash. Joshua’s loyal boxing fans will continue to turn out in high numbers to watch his fights live in the UK. Joshua is also bringing in a lot of PPV buys on Sky Box Office fighting the likes of Carlos Takam, Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale. Even if Hearn is unable to put together the big fight between Joshua and Wilder or Joshua and Parker.
“I had a good meeting with AJ. His goal to try and become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world by the close of 2018 so, at present, to do that we must go through Parker and Wilder,” said Hearn to skysports.com.
Hearn has a big job on his hands to make sure that he can finalise a deal for Joshua to fight Wilder and Parker, this needs to be done in order to unify and Heavyweight division and give the boxing fans what they want. A fight between Joshua and Wilder could be as big or even bigger than Joshua vs Klitschko.