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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Donagh Corby

Eddie Hearn confident of striking deal for Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder

Eddie Hearn is confident of striking a deal with Saudi Arabian authorities for a big-money showdown between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder as early as this December.

The Matchroom Boxing boss was in Riyadh last month for crunch talks with key players in the Middle East, after previously staging two unified heavyweight title fights including Joshua in the region. They brought the belts back to the UK with a win over Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, before losing a rematch to Oleksandr Usyk last August.

And Hearn believes that a bout between Joshua and Wilder, despite having no belts on the line, will be bigger than either of those shows given the massive star power of both men. The Brit is one of boxing's biggest pay-per-view draws, while his American rival has also commanded massive payouts and attention throughout his career.

"We were just talking," Hearn said to Mirror Fighting about his Riyadh trip in an exclusive chat this Wednesday ahead of Katie Taylor vs Chantelle Cameron in Dublin. "Obviously they want to make AJ against Wilder and so do we, we'll have to see what happens, no official offer yet but hopefully it comes this week.

"We haven't talked numbers, but they know what we made to fight Ruiz and they know what we made to fight Usyk. This is a much bigger fight. I think it's bigger than Fury-Usyk, people will have a go at me for saying that but I think so. They've got the means to do it, they're great to work with, we've done stuff with them before and if they want it, it can happen."

Talks are underway for an unprecedented tournament at heavyweight in the Middle East. That series of events would see Joshua and Wilder face off in a number one contender fight while Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk compete, potentially on the same night, for the undisputed title.

Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn have history in Saudi Arabia (Getty Images)

Who do you think wins; Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Fury currently holds the WBC belt, which he won from Wilder in February 2020 before defending it in a trilogy and twice further against Derek Chisora and Dillian Whyte. Usyk dethroned Joshua in September 2021 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, before consolidating his spot in their rematch last year, where he also picked up The Ring Magazine belt.

It is expected that Wilder and Joshua will find it easier to come to terms than Fury and Usyk, who have already seen deals collapse early this year. The unified champion is likely to defend his belts against a mandatory challenge from Daniel Dubois, while Fury could take on Andy Ruiz Jr.

It's unlikely Joshua will fight again before that December date, although a summer rematch with Dillian Whyte is not off the table as yet. Meanwhile, Wilder could take on one more test, but he may also opt to wait, meaning he would have spent over a year out of action since his October knockout of Robert Helenius.

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