Eddie Hearn has hinted that an announcement of a fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder could be imminent after revealing that he is heading to Saudi Arabia next week to speak to the Bronze Bomber. Joshua has been tipped to go head-to-head with the American boxer in the Middle East later this year.
Joshua returned to the ring earlier this month to take on Jermaine Franklin following back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022. And the Briton won the fight courtesy of a unanimous decision. Wilder, meanwhile, returned to winning ways against Robert Helenius last October after losing to Tyson Fury in 2020 and again in 2021.
Rumours of a December bout in Saudi Arabia between Joshua and Wilder have circulated in recent days, with both boxers teasing a fight. And on Sunday, Hearn insinuated that an announcement could be close as he dismissed suggestions that Martin Bakole could instead go head-to-head with Wilder.
“When I’m in Saudi Arabia next week talking about the biggest fight in history I’ll mention Martin Bakole to them and see if they’ve ever heard of him,” Hearn hissed on IFL TV. “Martin Bakole is a good fighter but obviously I don’t think that conversation is going to go down very well.”
On Thursday, Wilder’s agent Shelly Finkel fuelled the recent speculation as he told Sky Sports: “Deontay has wanted to fight Joshua for a long time and of course is willing to fight him in Saudi Arabia.”
And Joshua also addressed a potential fight as spoke about Wilder: “He is good, I respect him, I don’t undermine him,” he told the Metro. “That will make me raise my game. I respect what he has done and what he has done in this division. It is hard to become a champion and he did it so I have to respect that.
“It’s going to be a tough fight but I am confident in myself. I’m a better, more well-rounded athlete, a better, more well-rounded fighter. In terms of it getting delivered [from my side], I honestly believe it is 95 per cent there. I don’t know, I wish we had got this fight on before years ago – it shouldn’t have taken the big offer to get it over the line.”
And Wilder gave his take on the situation as he said: “Let’s make it happen. I’mma give Saudi their first knockout victim. Any Wilder fight you can expect that, but this one’s gonna be real special. I’ve got something special that I’m gonna put on the punch with this one.”