Eddie Hearn: Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder could happen at the end of this year

Gareth A Davies
The Telegraph

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder contesting the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world in 2018 is viable, with a date already scheduled in November or December, promoter Eddie Hearn has told the American media in Los Angeles.

Hearn's client, Scott Quigg, faces a test as tough as Carl Frampton on Saturday night against unbeaten WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez, and the British promoter used the LA stage to address the Joshua-Wilder fight publicly.

Six days ago Wilder defended his WBC heavyweight crown for the seventh time with a 10th-round stoppage - a thrilling dance with Luis Ortiz, and the crescendo a brutal ending for the Cuban.

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Wilder's speed and tenacity - and right hand - plus his vulnerabilities, have whet the appetite for a Joshua encounter on both sides of The Pond. Indeed, Hearn, as revealed to The Telegraph two weeks ago, is already plotting home and away rubbers for the match-up. Trans-Altantic match-ups of the biggest order and, arguably between them, worth at least £120 million. Maybe even more, if there is controversy in the first.

"Why not do two?" Hearn told me. "One over there, one here. It's that big if these two meet."

<span>Deontay Wilder poses after knocking out Luis Ortiz</span> <span>Credit: GETTY IMAGES </span>
Deontay Wilder poses after knocking out Luis Ortiz Credit: GETTY IMAGES

What if it's a quick knockout? "So what, I'm sure the public would want to see it again."

There is a litany of these types of plans not coming to fruition in boxing, yet Hearn insists he echoes Joshua's words on "unifying".

Meanwhile, Joseph Parker - training in Las Vegas - is plotting a fast route to dethrone Joshua in Cardiff in just over three weeks. He looked lean, lithe and fast in camp this week.

If Joshua can come through the Parker test when the two meet in Cardiff on March 31 - the New Zealander's WBO belt will be on the line - then Hearn expects the American and the former Olympic champion to clash this year.

"The fight with Anthony Joshua is unquestionably the biggest fight in world boxing and anyone that knows me knows how much I would love to stage a fight like that.

Revealed: How Joseph Parker's clever ploy secured Anthony Joshua showdown
Revealed: How Joseph Parker's clever ploy secured Anthony Joshua showdown

"The Wilder fight is the one. It’s the biggest fight in world boxing. If we can’t make the Wilder fight, then Anthony Joshua should fight in America next."

Indeed, Hearn has targeted Jarrell Miller, ranked as a voluntary, in August in the US.

“The options are that we go in August in American against someone and then Deontay Wilder, or straight into Wilder. But if we do Wilder it will probably be October, November, December.

"Also, if you know Anthony you will know he will fight anyone but for now there is only one thing on his mind - Joseph Parker in a spine-tingling unification match up on March 31.

How five unbeaten heavyweights compare
How five unbeaten heavyweights compare

"I expect Parker to pose plenty of problems in this fight, perhaps even more than Wilder. If AJ does the business in Cardiff I believe there is every chance you will see Joshua v Wilder in 2018.

"The heavyweight division is buzzing right now and we have two very important fights coming up in Dillian Whyte v Lucas Browne on March 24 at the O2 and Jarrell Miller v Johann Duhaupas on April 28 in New York.

"Whyte v Browne is going to be an absolute war and Miller is making plenty of noise Stateside - both winners will be calling for Wilder or Joshua in 2018."

Timing will be everything if Joshua defeats Parker and claims three of the belts. It's a great problem for Hearn to have.

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