Home Boxing News Eddie Hearn looking for new opponent for Anthony Joshua after Dillian Whyte...

Eddie Hearn looking for new opponent for Anthony Joshua after Dillian Whyte talks fall apart

Eddie Hearn with Anthony Joshua. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed negotiations for a rematch between former two-time WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 25-3 (22) and Dillian Whyte 29-3 (19) are effectively dead in the water.

“We made him an offer which they made it clear was nowhere near their expectations and, quite honestly, there were very little negotiations after that. He never asked for ten million. Not sure where that came from,” the Matchroom Boxing boss told Boxing Social.

The plan is to get England’s Joshua, 33, back in the ring in August for his second fight under new coach Derrick James before facing former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) in Saudi Arabia in December.

With August fast approaching, Hearn has put out a casting call for potential opponents.

“Anyone in the top fifteen. I don’t mind being honest – AJ’s going to fight Deontay Wilder in December – that’s our 100% focus,” he said.

“So he needs a fight against someone who’s going to allow him to work on, under the lights, everything he’s been working on with Derrick James. There’s no point fighting a fight that’s against someone he’s going to take out in a round. And it’s difficult to fight an elite, top three of five guy when you’re fighting Deontay Wilder four months later.

“So we’re in a bit of a difficult position. I don’t think Saudi want him to fight, because they want him to be ready for Deontay Wilder in December. But we as a team, Derrick James, Anthony and 258 Management all feel that it would be beneficial for his preparation to have that fight in August.”

Hearn’s comments come after a previous interview with iFL TV in which he said Whyte’s team were not happy with the money on the table for a Joshua fight.

“So we spoke last night to [Whyte’s] team and this morning,” Hearn said. “We made an offer and they felt that offer was unacceptable. We may be too far out on the money to make that fight.

“We’re looking at two other opponents for August 12. The key for us, if we can’t make the Deontay Wilder fight it’s not that it has to be Dillian. AJ wants it, that’s the fight AJ wanted.”

Joshua returned to the ring back in April following back-to-back points losses to Ukrainian southpaw Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) win a 12-round unanimous decision over fringe contender Jermaine Franklin 21-2 (14).

It was his first bout under new American trainer James, who says he doesn’t understand where the criticism of Joshua’s performance is coming from.

“I don’t quit until my guys get it,” James said to ESNews. “If there’s something that I think is significant, then I’m gonna keep pushing, keep working until they get it. If they don’t get it, I gotta keep on pushing. If they don’t get it, I take all the fault.

“People talk about Anthony Joshua [not looking good in the Franklin fight] – he fought the fight that I wanted him to fight. I know you may think something else, but he fought the fight that I wanted him to be prepared to fight. The more time you get together, you’ll see a different guy. I want to make sure we get everything down.”

James added: “He won every round [in the Franklin fight].”