Hearn: AJ-Wilder can’t wait much longer

Anthony Joshua Eddie Hearn

Eddie Hearn has warned Deontay Wilder that Anthony Joshua is “close” to fighting Alexander Povetkin next, if he doesn’t accepts their latest offer.

Hearn has been in discussions with Povetkin’s World of Boxing team about a WBA mandatory challenge, despite ongoing negotiations with Wilder’s representatives.

Barry Hearn is currently out in New York and is expected to meet up with Shelly Finkel to see if they can come to an agreement five weeks after the ‘Bronze Bomber’s $50m offer for a historic unification showdown.

Joshua’s promoter maintains that the British star wants Wilder next but also wants to fight in September, which would also clear up any WBA mandatory obligations.

“I don’t like making deadlines because sometimes it gets people’s backs up but at some stage soon we have to make a decision,” said Hearn on Sky Sports.

“We are close to closing a deal with Povetkin with (Andrey) Robinsky and World of Boxing and once the deal is closed, there is no Deontay Wilder.

“Wilder has had the latest offer from us for the last two weeks which was our improved offer and we are still talking to them and in fact, my dad is out in New York at the moment, and he might meet Shelly today.

“They have our offer so they have to accept it or move on. It’s not a case of if you don’t accept this offer the fight is dead, we will just fight Povetkin and carry on our negotiations to the next one.

“It has to be the next one, or the one after that. Joshua wants to fight. We’ve got an opportunity to go in September and Josh is keen to fight in that month and if Wilder wants it, it’s there.

“But I do still believe Wilder will take this offer.”