June 4, 2018
June 4, 2018
Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder

Esther Lin/Showtime

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THE big fight will happen, but we might have to wait for the Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder heavyweight unification.

Talks are on going, but Joshua might need to box Russia’s Alexander Povetkin, the mandatory challenger for his WBA heavyweight title, before he faces Wilder.

Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, said “there are now frequent conversations” between the two camps.

“They [Barry Hearn and Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel] met on Friday, they emailed us on Monday morning and we are getting back to them,” Hearn said. “All I can say is that I think this fight will get signed but it’s whether we fight Povetkin first.”

“I think it will get done but the WBA are asking us every day and we are extending this negotiation period all the time,” he continued. “I think we have to make a call by the end of the week really. I have been saying two weeks for two weeks.

“Povetkin needs to know and so do the WBA.”

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder

It is most likely that Joshua will defend his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles against Povetkin, possibly on September 8, and then meet Wilder, the WBC heavyweight titlist, in 2019.

“At the moment, we are fighting Povetkin,” Hearn said. “We want to fight in September but September doesn’t work with Wilder because of Showtime.

“If we fight Wilder it would probably be October, November but if we fight Povetkin it will be September.”

Wembley Stadium is a venue being considered and so is the Olympic Stadium and Twickenham. Dates could be September 15 or 22 but intriguingly Hearn noted, “But the 8th is available at Old Trafford [in Manchester].”

“That’s 15 weeks away now so to do a Wilder fight, you’d want to give it the build up it deserves,” Hearn continued. “If Povetkin is September then Wilder probably won’t happen until February. That would mean we would probably go to Cardiff.

“We wanted September because there was the possibility of places like Wembley.

“But if you go October or November then it becomes Cardiff, where we have done two fights on the bounce.”

He maintained, “I really do think the Wilder fight will happen but it’s just whether or not it’s next.

“It won’t be any more than the one after Povetkin, that’s the maximum wait.”