Wilder, not Klitschko, the target for Anthony Joshua next fight

Anthony Joshua next fight
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
Talk of Wladimir Klitschko making a sensational return for Anthony Joshua next fight is overblown insists promoter Eddie Hearn. John Dennen reports

PROMOTER Eddie Hearn has denied that Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko is set to make a shock comeback and rematch Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium on April 13.

Hearn revealed that Klitschko has been in contact with the unified IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion, but that Joshua’s target is WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder and becoming the undisputed champion.

“It’s not on our radar. I feel disrespectful even talking about what Klitschko might do. It’s not for me to say,” Hearn told Boxing News.

Joshua beat Klitschko in a thrilling 2017 unification clash. “Through the fight they’ve just got that respect as fighters,” the promoter said. “He wants to do a job on Deontay Wilder, who he doesn’t have any respect for. He wants the belt. That’s what he wants. It’s not even about Wilder. He just wants the belt. [He’ll say,] ‘I’ll fight [Tyson] Fury but I want the belt.’”

Anthony Joshua next fight

Hearn hopes to tempt Wilder into fighting Joshua on April 13 at Wembley Stadium. “It depends what he [Wilder] wants. If he wants to be undisputed, which he’s always said – one face, one champion, one king, he has to fight ‘AJ’. But if you don’t want a brutal fight, he should fight Fury. Because that won’t be a brutal fight. He might get outboxed again but against ‘AJ’ it’s going to be brutal. So maybe he don’t fancy that,” the Matchroom promoter said. “Maybe he thinks, ‘You know what I think I can beat Fury.’ It is a big fight, the rematch. It’s all about what you want in your career and your legacy. There aren’t going to be many chances to be undisputed.”

It’s been reported that over 300,000 viewers bought the Wilder-Fury pay-per-view in America, with its hefty US price tag. “I think it’s terrible,” Hearn said, “but maybe they’re celebrating it.

“I just think 300,000 is disappointing when you’ve got Canelo-Golovkin doing 1.1, 1.2 million [buys] and that’s supposed to be the biggest heavyweight fight in years and years, 300,000 doesn’t seem that impressive to me but they’re all celebrating it so it must be good.”

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