Interviews often give us a glimpse into the intricate intricacies of the boxing business. This time, speaking to Fight Hub, Eddie Hearn sheds some light on the Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder matchup and more.
Has the anticipation for the Joshua-Wilder fight got your attention? You’re not alone. The internet has been full of speculations, especially after recent shifts in communication. Are we on the brink of seeing this fight, or are we setting ourselves up for disappointment?
“We were really locked in. I mean, we’d say it was locked in. But it’s never been signed; it’s never been confirmed.”
Hang on a minute! Remember when everyone thought the deal was sealed? What’s this about not being signed?
“I might have said in a part you know with that fight locked in but it’s never been signed.”
Is this a matter of miscommunication or mere optimism? Perhaps a bit of both.
“I’ve been to Saudi Arabia twice to negotiate this fight. My instructions from Anthony Joshua: I want to fight Deontay Wilder.”
So, if we’re to connect the dots, are we implying that Saudi might be a potential hurdle in this? It’s a riddle, indeed.
The clock is ticking, and the pressure mounts with every passing day. When can we expect the final word on this highly anticipated bout?
“Frank Smith was in a meeting with Prince Khalid yesterday… they’re talking about a time frame of a week or two weeks. The fight’s scheduled to take place middle to the end of January.”
Do the math, folks! The timelines are tight. It’s almost like a ticking time bomb, but instead of an explosion, we’re hoping for a signed contract.
Eddie dropped some insights into Joshua’s current mindset and plans.
“AJ said after the fight with Helenius that he wanted two more fights this year.”
But Hearn thinks it’s a tad ambitious,
“That was encouraging but I think unlikely at the same time.”
Given the close timeframes, a potential bout in January, and other factors, what does AJ’s calendar look like? Is a fight in December on the cards?
“He also understands that if we get the Wilder fight in January that’s fine as well… we can still fight Wilder in February or March.”
Hold on. Did Hearn just hint at an alternative?
“If not Wilder, what are the other names? I think you’re going to get the best of AJ maybe even Tyson Fury.”
The potential scenarios are intriguing. Would AJ take on Fury? Would he settle for another contender? The possibilities seem endless.
“I don’t see many opponents in that top 15 that stand out. But if Fury was to fight Usyk, maybe AJ fights Hrgovic. Or if Zhang beats Joyce, maybe he fights Zhang in China.”
And what does AJ feel about these options?
“He’s not motivated for those fights. What he’s motivated for is massive fights.”
Seems like Joshua has his eyes set on the prize and won’t settle for anything less than a colossal showdown.
The interview didn’t just hover around AJ and Wilder. It dived into the recent drug allegations surrounding a fighter, Alycia Baumgardner.
“She protests her innocence… she asked for testing for this fight. And none of it really makes sense so close to a fight.”
Hearn’s stand on this delicate matter?
“I want to believe Alicia. I hope she can prove her innocence, and I will support her in any way.”
But the looming question remains – will the governing bodies strip the titles?
“Hopefully, there can be a resolution… to showcase their innocence.”