Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder 80% Likely To Happen, Eddie Hearn Says

There is a high likelihood, Deontay Wilder will be Anthony Joshua’s next opponent, according to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua currently holds the World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) heavyweight titles and has made it his goal to win every single belt to unify the division.

That would include a meeting with World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder down the line in what many boxing fans regard will be the most exciting match-up in the weight class. The two unbeaten heavyweights have repeatedly called each other out.

Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn Eddie Hearn believes much-awaited fight with Deontay Wilder is likely to be next for Anthony Joshua. Pictured: Eddie Hearn, boxing promoter (R) and Anthony Joshua (L) speak during a press conference for his Super Heavyweight title fight against Wladimir Klitschko at Sky Sports Studios on April 27, 2017, in London, England. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

If the fight were to take place in America, in Wilder’s country, Hearn, who promotes “AJ,” would ideally like to build up his fighter’s name there with Joshua having only fought in the United Kingdom. However, Hearn recognizes the fans will be too impatient for that and believes a title unification clash will happen soon.

“That would make sense [to build Joshua’s name in America first] but you try explaining that to the fans,” Hearn told Fight Hub TV, as quoted on Bad Left Hook. “Our job is to provide for the fans. Our job is to give the public what they want. That’s how you keep boxing strong…[Joshua] wants to fight Wilder now, straightaway, no messin. And there’s a very strong chance it’ll be next, after Parker…80 percent. Something like that.”

Wilder recently took his record to 40-0 after getting past Cuba’s Luis Ortiz via 10th round TKO on March 3. Defeating the previously unbeaten heavyweight after overcoming adversity late on, the American displayed his heart and Hearn believes that will lead to a “destructive” fight with Joshua.

“Well I think there’s some things we learned and some things we already knew [from his fight against Ortiz],” Hearn explained. “We know that Wilder is reckless. His technique’s not the best. We know he can punch. So he showed all of those things.”

“But he also showed that he has a big heart. And I didn’t doubt his heart, but until you prove it [it’s a question]. And he showed he has a big heart, which is good news for fight fans because when Anthony Joshua gets in with him, he’s gonna show a lot of heart, Wilder. And therefore it’s gonna be destructive.”

Deontay Wilder Deontay Wilder’s win over Luis Ortiz was seen as his most impressive. Pictured: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder of the U.S. knocks down undefeated contender Luis King Kong Ortiz in the 10th round, during their 12-round WBC Heavyweight Championship fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on March 3, 2018. Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Before all the talk of a clash with Wilder, Joshua still has to get through World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Joseph Parker first, who he takes on in Cardiff, U.K. on March 31. Hearn expects a victory against the New Zealander and predicts Wilder will be easy pickings for Joshua.

“I think technically [Joshua] has a tougher fight than Deontay Wilder [against Ortiz]. Not necessarily as dangerous, but, like, I see the Wilder fight — and so does AJ — it’s straightforward. It’s gonna be dangerous, it’s gonna be electric, but technically AJ’s gonna pick him off, he’s gonna beat him up, and he’s gonna punish him. [Joseph] Parker is gonna be a breakdown job. Wilder vs. AJ, I think the game plan is going out the window. It’s gonna be an absolute barn-burner.”

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