Promoter Eddie Hearn conceded that a proposed fight between former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua [26-3] and former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder [43-2-1} will likely happen in March or April next year following the collapse of the Saudi promotional entity, Skill Challenge Entertainment [SCE].
Negotiations had been ongoing between all parties for a proposed heavyweight encounter which would have taken place later this year in the Saudi desert. At one point, all terms had been provisionally agreed upon. In August of this year, SCE were present ringside to witness Joshua defeat Robert Helenius inside seven rounds at London’s O2 Arena and were hoping to finalise negotiations on Joshua’s side of the fence for the contest with Wilder.
Wilder spoke in the summer that he was hoping negotiations could be concluded for the fight and at one point indicated that he could face Joshua in a two-fight deal which would have seen a second fight ‘in the homeland of Africa.’
Despite much promise, SCE could not secure the funding necessary for the contest between the heavyweight giants.
Despite the collapse of Joshua-Wilder promoted by SCE, Hearn remains hopeful that the contest can be signed and take place in a different territory as he and Wilder’s advisor, Shelly Finkel, receive offers from possible host venues.
Hearn also indicated that Joshua will likely return to action in December/January against an opponent yet to be confirmed. However, speculation over the weekend has linked unbeaten German heavyweight and former sparring partner Agit Kabayel as the front-runner to be Joshua’s latest opponent.
“He wants to, he really wants to,” Hearn said of Joshua in an interview with iFL TV. “We’ve been on calls with him all week. There’s a lot happening with the IBF situation. We’ll have to see. I think he’s going to fight in December or January.
“I think the Wilder fight, realistically, is not going to happen until March or April, at the latest. But he wants to fight. He wants to go back to camp and asked us to try and make him a fight for December. Whether that spills into January, we’ll see.”