Hearn insists that if Joshua did not fight Helenius, it would have delayed Wilder fight

Eddie Hearn has continued to defend his and Anthony Joshua’s decision to proceed and fight this upcoming Saturday following the late change of opponent for Joshua following Dillian Whyte’s failed drug testing saga this past weekend. 

Saturday saw Matchroom Boxing confirm that Whyte had indeed failed a VADA Administered drug test for a substance which is yet to be disclosed. Whyte was immediately removed as Joshua’s opponent and Tuesday of this week saw Robert Helenius confirmed as the new opponent for Joshua.

Hearn has said it was important that Joshua fought this upcoming Saturday at London’s O2 Arena due to the all-but-confirmed encounter between the two-time unified world heavyweight champion, Joshua and the former WBC world heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder. 

Hearn was speaking to TalkSport and was challenged in the interview if he could have postponed the contest in favour of finding a more suitable opponent for Joshua. Hearn said it was difficult to postpone the contest mainly due to the potential Wilder fight in the near future. Hearn went on as far to say that if Joshua did not box this Saturday he would not proceed with the Wilder fight.

“It’s difficult to [postpone a fight] when you train for 12 weeks to break camp,” Hearn said on talkSPORT Radio. “The other option honestly is to fight in October or November. When he trained for 12 weeks, then after that, come down, have three or four weeks off, then you go back and do another eight or nine weeks.

“We want to fight Deontay Wilder. We know December is unlikely but we’re still being told and we were told as recently as two days ago or three days ago, whenever it was, you will be fighting. And if he doesn’t take this fight on Saturday, he won’t fight Wilder in December or January.”