A major heavyweight world title unification clash, Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker, could be finalised in the coming weeks.
Joshua holds the WBA and IBF belts, while New Zealand’s Parker is the WBO titlist.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, said, “He’s alright David Higgins [who represents Parker], he’s a bit nutty. We made some additional concessions in the last few days. We don’t really want to, to be honest with you. My job is to deliver the best deal for Anthony Joshua and the right deal. Unfortunately we’re at stage now where the deal’s not necessarily right for Anthony but to unify and to pick up another belt we’re going to have to probably do that. It is the right fight for everybody and I think we’ll get it made. But we’ll see over the next week or so.”
“It’s close. We’re probably a couple of percent away from making the fight but that’s easier said than done,” Hearn added.
“They’ve put out the deal they want, which is common knowledge and it’s not a deal we accept. But we’re very close.”
If the fight can be made it’s likely to take place at the Principality stadium in Cardiff, where Joshua halted Carlos Takam in 10 rounds in October, with one of the last weekends in March 2018 the potential date.
“March 24 or March 31. Loads of venues in play, Millennium Stadium again. Twickenham is one we’ve been looking at, but rather it a month later in April or May,” Hearn said.
The goal is for Joshua to unify the heavyweight division before the end of 2018, with an even bigger fight with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury being eyed. “The aim is to fight three times this year. We must get that fight away in March, the first one because it gives you the opportunity to go again in August and then December,” Hearn said.
“One in America I think we should have, and then Wilder. Or Wilder next and then Fury, maybe,” he continued. “If he gets his licence that could be a big fight but he needs a couple of fights first.
“We want all the belts by the end of the year.”