After months of hope, it appears the chances of seeing a heavyweight unification bout in 2018 have been dashed. WBO, IBF and WBA champion Anthony Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn have been unable to come to an agreement with WBC champ Deontay Wilder on a fight this year.
It’s possible the two men could still meet in 2019, but for now, it looks as if longtime heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin, Joshua’s WBA mandatory challenger, will get the next shot at AJ’s three belts. Wilder made his frustrations known via Twitter.
After Wilder’s NSFW Twitter rant, Hearn defended himself and Joshua in a video from IFL. He said:
Do not question the integrity or the desire of Anthony Joshua. Trust me on that. And I’ll tell you something now – if this geezer, Deontay Wilder, signs this contract, he will get absolutely dispatched by Anthony Joshua. Believe me on that. So we will see. We will see. All I ask the fans to do is know one thing – I’m not the boss. All right? I saw Tyson Fury’s stuff today [on Instagram]. ‘Oh, Eddie Hearn don’t want him to fight [Wilder]. Mate, it doesn’t matter who I want him to fight. He wants to fight everybody. He decides everybody he fights. So all these other people, like Fury, ‘Oh, send me the contract. I’ll fight you next.’ Come on, mate. Seen your last fight. Seen the next guy you’re fighting. Understand this – after 22 fights, Anthony Joshua would’ve boxed names that include Dillian Whyte, say Dominic Breazeale because at the time it was his 17th fight, Wladimir Klitschko, Carlos Takam, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin in his 22 fights. Wilder’s had what, 41 fights? And he’s fought one real, live opponent [Luis Ortiz]. And he’s pretty much out of the game because he had high blood pressure and he was 40 or whatever it is. So I think in Wilder’s 23rd fight he boxed Jason Gavern on the undercard of Kell Brook against Shawn Porter, I think.