Hearn confident that Joshua-Wilder can now be signed and sealed

Eddie Hearn hopes to finally finalise a deal which will see former two-time unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua finally secure a fight with former WBC world heavyweight world champion Deonty Wilder.

Joshua produced a highlight reel knockout victory over Robert Helenius at London’s O2 arena, claiming victory following a long straight right with Helenius touching the ropes in round seven.

Speculation and tentative primary negotiations have occurred for some time between the representatives of Joshua, Wilder and the primary promoters of any such bout, Skill Challenge Entertainment. Skills Challenge head, Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz and other representatives arrived in London on Friday to potentially finalise negotiations and were present visibly at ringside witnessing Joshua’s return to the ring.

Speaking immediately post-fight, Hearn was confident that a deal could be finalised between Joshua and Wilder and, if successful, target a domestic showdown with Tyson Fury.

“We’ve got a three-fight plan,” Hearn told DAZN. “Whether you like it or not, it was Robert Helenius, supposed to be Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder and then Tyson Fury.

“That’s the ambition of the team. Whether you back Josh, whether you think he can do it or he can’t, things have changed. He’s now a mature heavyweight. I know everyone wants to see first, second, and third-round KOs, but against Helenius, he took his time and delivered one of the knockouts of the year.

“We believe he can go and beat Deontay Wilder. Prince Khalid and Skills Challenge are here tonight; we look to try and close that deal over the next couple of days. Josh is ready for that fight. He’s given everything to this sport; he’s given everything to British boxing. He’s ready now for some big marquee fights. He’s smarter now; he’s going to take his time. No chances, no more losing.

“Tonight, you saw that a guy who took his time tried to find the range with the right hand and delivered it in devastating fashion.”