Promoter Eddie Hearn has renewed confidence that a unification bout between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will happen later this year after it emerged that the WBC heavyweight champion has entered talks with sports streaming service DAZN.
Wilder, who was expected to rematch Tyson Fury in his next fight until the Brit signed with rival broadcaster ESPN, has been discussing his options executive chairman of DAZN John Skipper.
WBA, IBF and WBO champion Joshua’s fights are broadcast by DAZN in the United States.
“It’s fantastic,” said an upbeat Hearn of the news. “I think we’ve got a brilliant chance of making the Joshua fight.
“The only way that deal was ever gonna get made was doing it this way – the John Skipper way.
“He’s gotta be the one, in my opinion, that brokers the deal. He’s already proved that he’s very good at doing that.
“And I think he will get Wilder, I do. I think that he will put the deal together for Wilder to fight Joshua.”
Negotiations for a Joshua-Wilder fight fell apart last year amid public sniping from both sides on social media.
Before the proposed Joshua-Wilder fight can happen, AJ must first get past undefeated American behemoth Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on June 1, while the ‘Bronze Bomber’ needs to turn back the challenge of hard-hitting mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale in May.
If everything goes to plan, Hearn says the pair will share a ring before the year is out.
“November/December,” Hearn said when asked to name a date for the fight. “I think Deontay’s comments have led to this chain of events. By him coming out and saying, ‘I’m not with Showtime, I’m up for speaking to everybody.’
“John knows what he’s doing, so he had to make sure that the approach was there.
“He spoke to me before and said, ‘What do you think?’ I said, ‘f***ing go for it, mate.’
“I have full confidence in him to make this fight.”