Home Boxing News Eddie Hearn refuses to rule out an alternative opponent for Anthony Joshua’s...

Eddie Hearn refuses to rule out an alternative opponent for Anthony Joshua’s next bout

Eddie Hearn with Anthony Joshua. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Eddie Hearn has admitted there are other boxers in the discussion for Anthony Joshua’s next fight outside of Deontay Wilder.

Talks between the Joshua and Wilder camps, backed by money from Saudi Arabian promotional outfit Skill Challenge Promotions, have been ongoing for months with a proposed date of December now pushed back to January at the earliest.

Former two-time unified heavyweight champion Joshua 26-3 (23) has already boxed twice this year and is keen to stay as active as possible. If the bout with former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder 43-2-1 (42) is pushed back beyond January, he will likely see action again in December.

This week retired former WBC cruiserweight champion turned pundit Tony Bellew said he had heard rumours that talks were afoot for Joshua to challenge reigning WBC champion Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24).

Joshua’s promoter Hearn said they were not ruling anything out at this stage, but insisted Wilder remained their priority.

“If you read Twitter, it’s ‘AJ-Wilder might not happen, it might be AJ-Fury, Fury might fight [Oleksandr] Usyk or Usyk might fight [Filip] Hrgovic’,” the Matchroom Boxing boss told Boxing Social. “To be honest, any of those things are possible, that’s the reality of the situation.

“Our fight with Wilder hasn’t changed in the last three or four days since we sat down. Are there conversations about Fury-AJ? Not really. Would Saudi be interested? Yeah, I think so.

From my position, we want to just try and nail the Wilder fight. The Wilder fight is the one we’ve been talking about for a few months now and we want to try and progress it.

“AJ Wants to fight, he’s really enjoying the activity. If he can’t fight in January I think I think you’ll see him in December. But still, our intention is to close the Wilder deal.”

In a separate interview on The DAZN Boxing Show, Hearn expressed his frustration that the Joshua-Wilder talks were taking so long.

“It’s slow, I won’t lie. Obviously, it’s a massive fight and these things take time. Everything is kind of agreed other than the signing of the paperwork. We know that takes time, especially in that part of the world,” Hearn said.

“For me the biggest concern is AJ wants to fight in December or January. We know the Wilder fight is not going to happen in December, so we’re happy to wait until January – but if that fight starts pushing back to February or March, don’t be surprised if he still signs for that fight but has another one in-between.

“He’s loving the activity at the moment. He’s loving being in training camp, he’s loving working with [new coach] Derrick James. But our full focus is to sign the Deontay Wilder fight. I’m not disappointed but we want to get it done.”