Hearn: AJ vs Wilder is inevitable

Anthony Joshua David Hearn

Anthony Joshua is fully focused on Joseph Parker, but his desire for a future fight with Deontay Wilder should not be doubted, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

The British heavyweight star is preparing to defend his WBA ‘super’ and IBF titles against WBO champion Parker on March 31, and Wilder is expected to be ringside in Cardiff after retaining his WBC belt with a dramatic stoppage of Luis Ortiz last weekend.

In his post-fight interview, Wilder again questioned whether Joshua was willing to face him, insisting the top division needs “one champion, one face, one name”.

Hearn gave the American credit after he overcame a torrid seventh round to stop Ortiz in the 10th, and says ‘AJ’ will inevitably target the last remaining title, provided that he overcomes Parker.

“Saturday was a great fight and Deontay showed plenty of heart,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “He hardly won a round outside of the fifth and looked finished in the seventh. It was a great finish and a big night for him.

“The fight with Anthony Joshua is inevitable, but AJ must win on March 31, and that is the only focus right now. I see the Joseph Parker fight as just as tough as the Wilder fight, so it would be foolish to look past him.

“You don’t have to worry about AJ wanting fights like this – his track record speaks for itself. This is his second unification fight and it’s his 21st fight. Others talk about unifications and ‘one champ’, but what are they actually doing about it?

“We look forward to welcoming Deontay Wilder to Cardiff on March 31 for what will be a very special night.”