Eddie Hearn has spoken out against rumors Anthony Joshua could rematch former WBC champion and notorious power puncher Deontay Wilder next year.
Joshua and Wilder negotiated back in 2018 when they were both champions for an undisputed fight. Those negotiations eventually fell apart and both went their separate ways.
Since then, both men have lost their world titles – but the aura of a match and its course remains. Both ‘AJ’ and Wilder are considered to be the men who revived the heavyweight arena in their respective countries following the era of Eastern European domination in division.
In one Interview with iFL TVHearn confirmed that he is currently on good terms with Wilder’s team and cleared up any discussion of Wilder being Joshua’s next opponent.
“The line of communication is very good now, between me and Shelly Finkel [Wilder’s manager]. We had a lot of talk, a lot of conversation [but] until the coaching team confirms for AJ, we’re not really going to make any opponent selections because we want a coach’s input.
We have three or four people we’re talking to and are willing to try and make a move, but at the end of the day we have to make sure that the coaching staff is comfortable with that.”
“[Wilder] was ordered to fight Andy Ruiz… I guess that’s what he’ll do next. At the same time, we want Dillian Whyte to play either temporary Deontay Wilder or AJ in the summer.
We’ll have to see but it looks like Wilder will play Ruiz and AJ will play at the end of March/April and Dillian Whyte could also play and I think they will all meet in the summer.”
While Joshua is set to return to the ring early next year – seemingly without having to face Wilder or Whyte – he is confident that a fight with Wilder will “definitely happen” at some stage in 2023, The Mirror reports.
If it’s another opponent in the interim, there are several possibilities, with Boxers ‘lined up’ against the former two-time champion.