Negotiations between the teams of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21) and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 40-0-1 (39) have again stalled with the British boxer’s promoter Eddie Hearn offering an alternative opponent for Joshua’s April return at Wembley Stadium in London.
“As it stands today, I would probably say that judging by the response from Wilder’s team, Dillian Whyte is probably the front-runner,” the British promoter told iFL TV.
“We got to do a deal, and it’s not going to be easy. Dillian wants certain things, and Joshua wants certain things. They don’t like each other, but there’s a lot of money to be made in that fight. It’s a really good fight.”
Cynics will say it was always going to be Whyte 25-1 (18) in the opposite corner to Joshua, with both big men promoted by Hearn.
But the Matchroom Boxing boss insists he still wants to make the Wilder fight happen if it is at all possible.
“Our priorities have not changed to make the Deontay Wilder fight,” Hearn continued. “I can’t exactly say it looks like they want the fight. We’re ready to fight Wilder.
“But maybe they can’t do a deal with [Tyson] Fury in the rematch.
“If you look at the polls. I saw a poll the other day. It said, ‘who do you see as the best heavyweight in the world?’ It was 44 percent Joshua, 40 percent Tyson Fury, and 6 percent Deontay Wilder.
“Although his [Wilder] profile has risen out of the Tyson Fury fight, if you’re Tyson Fury now, what deal do you accept to fight Deontay Wilder?
“He [Fury] feels like he won the first fight. He should have won the first fight. Then you think, should we just make Joshua against Fury?
“But also Joshua against Whyte is a really, really good fight.”