Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that he is still waiting for a contract to be sent for Anthony Joshua to sign for a fight with Deontay Wilder by promoters Skill Challenge Entertainment [SCE].
Negotiations between SCE and the former heavyweight world champions have been ongoing for several months with a proposed fight date being rumored for January/February in 2024 with the contest to be held in Saudi Arabia. However, negotiations have gone quiet between all parties which Hearn eludes to a changing situation within Saudi boxing in ‘regards to ownership and management’.
“We’ve agreed terms for Joshua-Wilder, but until we receive a contract the fight is not happening,” Hearn told Boxing King Media.
“Politically, it sounds like there’s a lot going on. For us, we are ready to take that fight. [Wilder's co-manager] Shelly Finkel and I have spoken, they are ready to take that fight. It doesn’t just have to happen in Saudi Arabia. There are now other talks about other countries that it could take place in.
Ultimately for the first time, hearn has admitted that all parties are not reliant on the Saudi’s while also suggesting that Joshua would be willing to face Tyson Fury instead if no deal is forthcoming to face Wilder.
“There is a movement of management and ownership of boxing in Saudi and it’s up to them what they want to do. If they don’t do Joshua-Wilder maybe it goes somewhere else. It’s one of the biggest fights in heavyweight boxing, we are being told they do [want to do it]. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Joshua ended up fighting Fury.”
Joshua is firmly on the comeback trail following back to back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 & 22 losing and failing to recapture the unified WBA,WBO, IBF & IBO world heavyweight titles in the process.
Joshua in 2023 has back to back wins against Jermaine Franklin (April UD12) and Robert Helenius [August KO7] since linking up with trainer Derrick James.