Dillian Whyte is being lined up as Anthony Joshua’s next opponent in April after the promoter Eddie Hearn said that a long-anticipated super fight with Deontay Wilder might not happen until November 2019 at the earliest.
Joshua, who puts his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts on the line against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on Saturday, wants Wilder, the WBC champion, next. But Hearn said talks with the American’s camp have broken down and it could take at least a year for the fight to take place.
Hearn said: “It comes to a stage where if they won’t even reply to us, how can you try to make the fight? My dad emailed Shelley Finkel [Wilder’s co-manager] a fortnight ago and said: ‘We’ve sent you a signed contract on all the terms you agreed,’ but they didn’t respond. It’s very strange. If they want to make it for April, we need to have some dialogue. If you want 50-50, at least tell me so we can discuss terms.”
Another complicating factor is that Hearn wants to name Joshua’s next opponent before Wilder fights Tyson Fury, which is expected to take place in early December.
“We can’t wait until then because of all Joshua’s mandatory situations,” Hearn said. “Joshua will box in April and then he won’t fight again until November or December 2019.”
Joshua knocked out Whyte in seven brutal rounds in December 2015 but wobbled badly in the early stages, and Hearn believes there would be a huge buzz about a rematch.
“Whyte is a much bigger fight than Povetkin in Britain,” he said. “On the world scene, Povetkin is well known and credible, but Whyte, with the history of the first fight, the build-up, it’s a huge fight.”
Hearn accused Tyson Fury of cashing out by deciding to face Wilder in the early stages of his comeback following a drugs ban and well-publicised problems away from the ring. “If it’s a massive offer and he’s got a chance of winning the world heavyweight title, we shouldn’t say he’s mad,” Hearn said.
“But he’s smart enough to know in his mind he’s nowhere near ready. The problem is it’s one thing training for Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianetaand another being match fit for Deontay Wilder.”
Source: The Guardian