THE fight so many are talking about, Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko is inching closer.
Promoter Eddie Hearn told Boxing News, “I’m speaking to Bernd [Boente, head of the Klitschko management group] a couple of times every day. Everybody wants the fight.”
But Joshua’s team to expect him to earn a certain figure for taking on the former champion. “There’s a number that we feel Joshua should achieve in that fight. [Due to the risk], also the size of the fight, in terms of what he’s earning at the moment as well. If you’re going to have a fight like that, there’s got to be rewards. Joshua’s champion, Klitschko’s challenger, even if it’s for more belts. But of course Klitschko is a huge name. But we can’t really worry about all that stuff, we just need that number,” Hearn said. “It’s not a ridiculous number, it’s a number that we’re quite close to. There’s just a few things that have got to happen to get there and it’s whether they can be conceded or whether they can be achieved.
“If you’re going to earn X to fight [Joseph] Parker or 3 X to fight Klitschko, how much more difficult is the Klitschko fight?”
Joshua, the reigning IBF champion, likes the idea of taking on Klitschko. “It’s more me and the management team saying this is what this fight is worth,” the promoter continued. “He’s like if you think it’s the right deal, we’ll take it. That’s his mentality.”
It’s an unclear as yet whether fighting Klitschko could be a title unification, with Tyson Fury, who holds the WBO and WBA belts, out of action for the time being. “I’m sure Klitschko and Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz and Luis Ortiz and Alexander Ustinov and Fres Oquendo and David Haye are all calling the WBA saying what is happening, the WBO what is happening. But I’m not really interested in those belts until we find out if we’ve got a deal or not,” Hearn said.
“Everybody’s got different rules. The WBA’s got a recess rule, I believe after 12 months no defence put the champion in recess or strip him completely and then come back when you’re ready. I think the WBO has the Interim thing where it’s a real mess…But that doesn’t really appeal to anyone.”
Hearn expects Anthony’s next fight to be confirmed soon. It will take place in Manchester, though it could be nudged back two weeks to December 10, though most likely he will fight on November 26 at the Manchester Arena against an opponent to be confirmed.
The announcement “has to be next week” Hearn said. He continued, “There is December 10 at the Manchester Arena as well, which would give us another two weeks past November 26. We tried to get the Millennium Stadium, it’s definitely Manchester. It has to be Manchester.”
“We’ll always find an opponent,” Hearn adds, “but it’s whether it’s the one that is the one we really want. You pay the money, you get anyone. But we just like to pay the right money that’s all.”