EDDIE HEARN tells Boxing News that Anthony Joshua vs Charles Martin could be announced within 48 hours, and confirms the contest has been offered to the IBF heavyweight champion.

Martin, who beat Vyacheslav Glazkov for the vacant title on January 16, recently joined the pack calling out Joshua and Hearn is now waiting to discover if the 29-year-old’s calls are serious. If they are, the fight is on.

“If Charles Martin wants the fight on April 9, he can have it,” said Hearn.

The Matchroom Boxing boss admits the jump to world level for Joshua is a “gamble”, but it’s one they must take.

“If you get the chance to fight for the world heavyweight title then you have to give it serious consideration, whether you’ve had five, 10, 15, 25 or 100 fights.

“Look, if we were to fight Martin then it’s a huge gamble. A huge one because how good is he [Martin] really? We don’t know. He looks decent but is he outstanding? He might turn out to be a brilliant southpaw. And how good is Joshua? Sometimes you can’t win, there’s some people saying ‘let Joshua loose at world level,’ while others, and they’re a small minority, are saying Joshua isn’t ready yet.”

Hearn is in the former’s camp, and believes the time is right to attack the top of the division. Given the magnitude of what’s at stake – and undoubtedly how winnable the fight appears to be – it certainly seems like an opportunity that would be too good to miss. Should Joshua win, the list of IBF heavyweight contenders – Joseph Parker aside – is not an overly ferocious bunch, and the Englishman could continue his education while he’s champion.

“The decision ultimately belongs to Anthony Joshua and his training team,” Hearn continues. “But if they truly believe they can beat Charles Martin then that’s what matters. Don’t worry about the title, and what it leads to, worry about Martin. Can you beat him? If so, let’s do that and worry about the rest later.”

Hearn also confirmed that the reported IBF eliminator that was on offer against Carlos Takam was never approved by the sanctioning body because the situation with their leading contender Erkan Teper – who failed a drug test after beating David Price – remains unresolved.