As unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 20-0 (20) puts the finishing touches on his preparation to face WBO counterpart Joseph Parker 24-0 (18) at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on March 31, his promoter Eddie Hearn has come out and said that the popular 28-year-old could hang up his gloves before facing lineal champion Tyson Fury – despite calling it the biggest fight in British boxing.
“Tyson Fury is a fight we’d love to make, the biggest fight in British boxing,” Hearn told talkSPORT. “The other fight is the (Deontay) Wilder fight. The Wilder fight is the one that gives him the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. That’s different level, that doesn’t happen anymore.”
Joshua currently holds the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles, along with the lesser known IBO strap. If Joshua gets past New Zealand’s Parker, the last remaining recognisable world championship belt for the big Brit to win will be the WBC strap currently around the 6-foot-7 American’s waist.
“Listen, AJ may retire after winning all the belts, who knows? He’s smart enough to know that, when he loses that desire, he won’t do it. I can’t see that happening any time soon until he gets to the top of the mountain. That’s when you might look round and say: ‘I’ve done everything’,” Hearn revealed.
Wilder is no small mountain to climb. With a record of 40-0 (39), the 32-year-old has continued to improve in recent years and earlier this month stopped highly-credentialed Cuban Luis Ortiz in the 10th round.
The victory was Wilder’s seventh successful defence of the WBC title. It was also the biggest win of Wilder’s decade-long pro career.
Hearn still sees the fight with Fury taking place at some stage in the future – for now, at least.
“Joshua wants to fight Tyson Fury for many reasons,” Hearn added. “There’s still the element of ‘Tyson did that first with Klitschko so he’s the real champ’. I don’t necessarily believe that.
“That competitor in AJ is desperate to fight Tyson Fury and, if Tyson gets himself back on the horse, we will make that fight happen.”