Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder close to being signed for December

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder close to being signed for December

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Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed former two-time WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 25-3 (22) is close to signing a deal to face former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) in Saudi Arabia in December.

Britain’s Joshua, 33, is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision victory over fringe contender Jermaine Franklin last month following back-to-back points losses to Oleksandr Usyk.

By the time the fight comes around, American Wilder, 37, would have boxed just one round in more than two years.

“It’s on. We’re being told that Wilder is in,” Hearn told Boxing Social. “And subject to finalising some of the terms – again, we know these people, we’ve dealt with them at various times – we’re in. So in his mind, he’s fighting Deontay Wilder in December.

“We’re up for it. We have some concrete offers coming this week for this fight and I don’t see an issue… I don’t see a problem from our end.”

According to Hearn, the Wilder fight will not be Joshua’s next bout. He wants his boxer back in the ring in the northern summer.

“Once that gets papered (the Wilder fight), we then work backwards to the end of July to the first week of August,” Hearn said.

“I want him to fight (in the summer). I think he wants to fight. I think (Joshua’s trainer) Derrick James wants him to fight. We just have to pick the right opponent. What it is, it’s really a preparation for that Wilder fight.

“You can’t (prepare for Wilder), but in a sense what you can do is you can cement everything you’ve been doing. You can get more confident. You can get more comfortable with your team and your tactics. So you need proper opposition, but at the same time you’re not going to fight a top five guy when you’ve got one of the biggest fights in the world a few months later.

“My priority at the moment is to secure the Deontay Wilder fight and every other decision will stem off that.”

Speaking to UK media, Joshua confirmed the Wilder fight is one he has been hoping to secure for some time.

“In December, potentially, a big fight should be cracking with Wilder and me. It has been a long time coming,” he said.

“There are many moving shapes at the minute. So one step at a time. But it has been a long time coming, for sure.”

Meanwhile, Wilder was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week after he was arrested in Los Angeles.

According to TMZ, “the 37-year-old was booked on a charge of possessing a concealed weapon” and that “Jail records show he bonded out at 6:34 AM.”

In a cryptic post on social media, Wilder wrote: “I’d rather be safe than sorry. The End.”