Joshua, Wilder set to agree mega-fight
Anthony Joshua versus Deontay Wilder is “70 per cent” likely to happen after “positive conversations” in the past 24 hours, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
Negotiations to agree an undisputed world heavyweight title fight between the unbeaten champions ramped up last week when Wilder offered Joshua $50m to fight.
Asked how likely the fight was to be agreed, Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports, “70 per cent.
“Their side has been very vocal in letting the media know about everything that is happening.
“We’ve had some positive conversations over the past day or so.
“Negotiations are ongoing and we’re all hopeful to reach an agreement.”
Wilder’s $50m offer, validated by his representative Shelly Finkel, brought the fight “closer”, according to Hearn, who was not presented with official paperwork to strike a deal.
“I will go back with some very simple questions, which hopefully they can answer, to put us in a position to know whether it is worth talking,” Hearn said earlier this week.
“We sent them (on Tuesday) night,” Hearn said. “They can’t not answer those questions.
“I believe they want to make the fight.”
IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua is also in discussions with other options, should a deal to unify belts with WBC holder Wilder not come to fruition.
Alexander Povetkin is the mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBA belt, while unbeaten Jarrell Miller has been mooted as an opponent to welcome Joshua to America for the first time.
“Povetkin is the guy we have to fight next,” Hearn explained. “If we fight Wilder, Povetkin will wait.
“Would we apply for a voluntary? Maybe. Would the WBA allow it? Maybe.
“But, really, it is Wilder or Povetkin.
“We are talking to Miller, but mainly we are talking to Povetkin because he is the guy we’ll have to fight if we don’t fight Wilder.”
Meanwhile, Tyson Fury is baffled as to why “greedy” Joshua has not accepted Wilder’s $50m offer for a heavyweight unification fight.
Hearn questioned whether the American has the money and said the offer would not be taken seriously before he has seen a contract.
Former heavyweight champion Fury questioned why Joshua has not agreed the deal.
He told ESPN, “It’s a lot of money if it’s a genuine offer, which I believe it is. Then how much do they want?
“How greedy can one man be? $50m isn’t good enough? Well, good luck to him, I hope he gets $250m.
“I don’t know what’s going on. We’re prize fighters. We boxed for free once upon a time.”
I’m sure it’s not (just) about the money.”