EXCLUSIVE Eddie Hearn hopeful Anthony Joshua will extend Matchroom deal

Anthony Joshua
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
Eddie Hearn tells John Dennen he plans to start talks for the Deontay Wilder fight immediately after Anthony Joshua versus Joseph Parker

ANTHONY JOSHUA has the most sought after signature in the sport. He is the most famous star in British boxing, by far, and one of the most marketable athletes in the world. His promoter Eddie Hearn is understandably eager to extend his deal with Joshua, which expires in two fights’ time.

“He said a lot of stuff [in the media that] he’s staying 100% and I believe he will,” Hearn told Boxing News. “We’ve got a couple of fights left in the deal and I expect that to be extended very soon. We work very well together, we always have done. I’ve had him from the debut. I don’t expect him to be going anywhere.”

Hearn’s Matchroom promotional outfit has already co-promoted one event with Joshua. “There’ll be more of them. There’s lots that we do behind the scenes that probably people don’t see. We work together on a lot of projects. It’s not just about Anthony in the ring, it’s about setting him up for his career after boxing as well,” Hearn said. “We work together as a team. If someone comes up and says there’s this deal in America we could look at, well we’ll talk to anybody. But Anthony’s about ownership. He’s about making 100 percent his own decision, with the advice of others. He’s not about being told who he’s fighting, what he’s wearing, what sponsors he can have, who he’s got to fight, where he’s got to fight. So he likes to take complete control of his own career and that’s why he will only work with specific people and he will only trust specific people.”

There is talk of Dana White, the president of the UFC, making a move into boxing and coming up with a substantial offer for Anthony Joshua. “The basis of Dana White would be in offering [a deal to Anthony Joshua]  – of course. He’s the biggest star in world boxing. Who wouldn’t be interested in him? We did the [international media] call, Joshua was asked about it. He said: look I’m with Eddie, if they want to talk and it makes sense, no problem. So I would always talk to someone that’s got an idea. I would talk to Dana White out of interest because I admire what he’s done in UFC. UFC have their own problems and I think they want to make some noise and be relevant everywhere. I’m not the type to say go away,” Hearn said.

Anthony Joshua

White will indeed be at the Principality stadium to watch Joshua’s heavyweight unification with Joseph Parker on Saturday (March 31). “He’s coming with the venue anyway. He’s a good brain. Sometimes you gain knowledge. You know what Anthony’s like. He talks to everybody to gain knowledge and I’m a little bit the same. The numbers are very small, compared to where we think he’s going to go. Because I don’t think that that sort of money, if he continues to win over 10 fights and box all around the world with big site fees… It’s just the idea,” Hearn said. “There’s no talks but there may be and we’re open to them.”

If Joshua is victorious, attention will naturally turn to the possibility of a clash with Deontay Wilder for all the major heavyweight world titles. “We’re talking. Everything’s geared towards March 31 and I think we’ll have to start talks immediately and try and get that over the line,” Hearn said.

Though, without a deal in place, don’t expect Wilder to leap into the ring after the fight to face off with the winner. “It’s not ‘you’re not allowed in’. One, the British Boxing Board of Control, after everything’s that’s happened recently particularly, will not let people get in the ring until the fight is cleared. After all fighters are out of the ring, everyone’s been checked by the doctor. That’s the rule. We asked the British Boxing Board of Control and Sky did as well about Wilder getting in the ring,” Hearn said.

“You know what Anthony’s like, he might say Wilder get up here. No problem [but] we’re not scripting it so you can get in the ring and shout your mouth off and get some exposure when we haven’t even got a deal to fight. So we’ll see.”

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